Sebokeng churchgoers arrested for allegedly breaking lockdown rules, throwing chairs at cops
Pretoria - Gauteng police have arrested three church goers in Sebokeng for contravening Covid-19 lockdown restrictions under the Disaster Management Act.
Police arrested two male church leaders aged 47 and 69 on Sunday and a 62-year-old woman on a similar contravention and an additional charge of public violence, South African Police Service (SAPS) spokeswoman Mathapelo Peters said on Monday.
“As the SAPS, together with other law enforcement agencies (which) continue to enforce and monitor adherence to the lockdown regulations, the members responded to reports of an illegal gathering at a church in Sebokeng Zone 7. On arrival, (they) ordered the group of about 250 congregants to disperse,” Peters said.
The worshippers however defied police orders to disperse and the situation turned violent when the congregants started throwing chairs at the police officers.
“The police responded with rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse the group,” said Peters.
Gauteng police have appealed to community members to adhere to the lockdown regulations “which have been put in place for everyone's safety against the fast spreading Covid-19”.
Peters said overall, Gauteng residents had “done well thus far” and urged them to report non-compliance with the regulations.
At the end of December, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa was moving back to a tighter adjusted level 3 lockdown, in a bid to minimise the risk of so-called Covid-19 super-spreader events.
All indoor and outdoor gatherings have been prohibited with a few exceptions and the hours of a nationwide daily curfew have been extended to run from 9pm to 6am.