Police Minister Bheki Cele says the foreign nationals from Europe who were arrested for being in contravention of level 3 lockdown regulations by going to the beach in the Western Cape were undermining the authority of the South African state.
Cele was in the Garden Route, Western Cape, on Wednesday to assess compliance with lockdown regulations. On Tuesday, Cele was in Vredendal to assess compliance with regulations as going to the beach remained prohibited in many parts, except in the Northern Cape.
On Wednesday, Cele said the police had received complaints about non-compliance with regards to beaches.
The minister said police arrested a few surfers in Langebaan, some of whom were European foreign nationals. He said they were undermining the authority of the South African state because lockdowns were currently in place in their home continent, too.
[MUST WATCH] @SAPoliceService in Langebaan in the West Coast arrest a surfer on the beach for contravention of the Disaster Management Act. All beaches except those in the Northern Cape remain closed under the adjusted #Level3Lockdown #WearAMask pic.twitter.com/bSvQXaCsST
— Lirandzu Themba (@LirandzuThemba) January 6, 2021
Cele said one of the challenges the police had to deal with was that when beachgoers were told to leave the beach, once the police move away from that particular area, people tend to go back.
The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has been deployed to assist the South African Police Service (SAPS) with enforcing level 3 regulations, including ensuring that people do not go to the beach, Cele said.
The police minister reminded communities that wearing a face mask was now mandatory and that a failure to do so could result in an arrest and a criminal record.
Meanwhile, police had received numerous tip-offs over the illegal selling of alcohol, the sale of which is banned under level 3 lockdown, Cele said, cautioning that establishments caught selling alcohol in contravention of lockdown regulations could lose their licenses.
Cele said it boggled the mind that law enforcers should remind South Africans to comply with regulations when Covid-19 was an obvious threat to people’s health.
He urged South Africans to comply with regulations so that police could pay attention to more “ordinary crimes”.
Burglaries, house robberies, and rape were still one of the most prevalent crimes that had to be dealt with, Cele said.
The police would watch “with a hawk eye” over restaurants because they had received reports that some were serving alcohol in teapots, Cele said.
Cele added that rivers, lakes, and parks were also prohibited.
— SA Police Service 🇿🇦 (@SAPoliceService) January 6, 2021
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