Two thousand plus arrests for non-compliance with South African COVID regulations

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Law enforcement agencies arrested 2 289 suspects for non-compliance with COVID-19 National State of Disaster regulations, Police Minister Bheki Cele said.

Speaking at a media briefing in Pretoria, he urged the public to observe and comply with the regulations.

“They must stick with them so we are not forced to enforce the law. From 27 March, until midnight, 2 289 people were arrested for breaking regulations, especially alcohol and traffic offences,” Cele said.

The arrests came as South Africa marked day seven of the 21day national lockdown announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Cele said 24 389 law enforcers from the SA Police Service (SAPS); the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) and metro police units are deployed to enforce the regulations.

He urged the public to observe and comply with the regulations.

The Minister further urged provincial governments not to formulate own regulations, saying the national Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister is sole custodian of the regulations.

“These regulations are national regulations. There are no provincial or municipal regulations what is done in Limpopo is also done in Western Cape. We hear some provinces will relax some regulations. They shouldn’t complain because police will not implement so-called provincial regulations, they’ll stick to national regulations.”

The Minister emphasised police would not hesitate to arrest those not complying.

GBV

At the briefing, Cele announced at least 87 000 cases ofender-based bviolence (GBV) were reported to police stations across the country in the last seven days.

“If not mistaken, the last number we received as the NATJOINTS (National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure) is since the national lockdown started 87 000 people phoned in reporting there might be gender-based violence in their houses,” said the Minister.