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Hammanskraal man arrested for making mockery of lockdown

Published Mar 31, 2020


Pretoria - A 36-year-old Hammanskraal man is among the 55 people arrested over the weekend for contravening regulations associated with the national lockdown.

He had recorded himself making fun of the strict lockdown rules during a gathering of more than 100 people. He was arrested at his home on Friday night.

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Police Minister Bheki Cele’s office said the man was returning from a funeral with friends on March 21 when they gathered at Temba Square in Hammanskraal.

They started playing music and drinking alcohol in public in what has become known as an “after tears” ceremony.

This was in contravention of the Covid-19 regulations. The man may also have to explain why he poked fun at the government’s efforts.

“Guys, you can see for yourselves, Hammanskraal has life. You can see, look,” the man said in the short video.

“It’s all over. There isn’t a single person wearing a mask. Those things don’t work. There’s life in Hammanskraal. Look how full it is and all the taverns are closed, they closed at 1pm. This is Skraal, there’s life here, bras. It’s happening in Hammanskraal; there’s none of these things of "corona and what". Oh yeah.”

Following the arrest, Cele said: “This should come as a warning to those who continue to make a mockery of the Covid-19 scourge and undermine the efforts of the government that the law will not be kind to their ilk.”

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Cele also encouraged people to report the spread of fake news to the Hawks’ serious commercial crime unit via email at either [email protected] or [email protected]

Cele announced that 55 people had been arrested nationally for defying the lockdown by, among others, participating in street bashes or sitting in a group and drinking alcohol in public.

He said their phones had been ringing off the hook with complaints of people breaking the law, and because they were open to working with “good citizens” arrests were being made.

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“These are people who don’t have goodwill, people who are doing exactly what they were told not to do,” Cele said.

Some were arrested for throwing parties and others for public drinking during the lockdown.

On the roads, Cele said there were 172 roadblocks across the country manned by just under 24000 officers.

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The main roadblocks, he said, were on the North West and Gauteng borders, the N1 going to Limpopo and M3 going to KwaZulu-Natal.

“We must remember that what is happening here is not a war against any citizen of the Republic of South Africa, it’s against this enemy called coronavirus.

“But whoever is breaking the law, whoever is not working with South Africans, is joining the enemy against the people of SA and we are there to make sure we defend the people,” Cele added.

Pretoria News

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