Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged and pleaded with police officers to lead, guide and serve citizens with integrity and dignity during the 21-day lockdown which comes into effect from Thursday midnight.
Addressing the police officers in Pretoria, Ramaphosa told the police officers to ‘do everything to defeat the virus’.
South Africa, as of Thursday, has 927 confirmed Coronavirus infections, with more than 400 cases in Gauteng alone.
“I set you off to go and be with our people, go and conduct the service amongst our people. Shower our people with guidance, leadership and show them the right things that need to be done,” he told police officers.
Ramaphosa said the government had taken strict measures of enforcing a lockdown in an effort to combat the virus.
“We are hoping with the actions that we have taken, which is supported by everyone I have come across,that we will defeat this virus. We must do everything to defeat the virus,” said the president.
As of Thursday evening, there were more than 500 000 confirmed coronavirus cases around the world, along with more than 120 000 recoveries and over 22 000 deaths around the world.
Italy, with over 7500 deaths, Spain with over 4100 deaths, and China with over 3200 deaths, had the majority of the deaths around the world.
Meanwhile the US, with over 75 000 cases and over 1000 deaths, had the second most cases around the world, behind China’s over 81 000 cases.
Ramaphosa told the police South Africa was not alone in the battle against the virus.
“We are not the only country in the world fighting this virus. We join countries that are making every effort to defeat the virus. You are doing God’s work. The whole world is involved in what you are doing.
“Make sure that we as a police service, we do not violate by mistake or unintentionally, the rights of our people. Let us guide them and show them the way,” said Ramaphosa in a plea.
He added: “This is the hour, this is the moment you were trained for. You were not only trained to fight crime, you were also trained to save lives. The moment is here now and you were trained for it, you were prepared for it, go and put the interest of South Africa ahead of your own interest, go and save the people of South Africa, I wish you well,” said Ramaphosa.
“Serve the people with dignity and integrity... go well and serve our people,” said the president.