‘We have no issues arresting people if we need to, so don’t give us a reason to,’ says Bheki Cele. Police have arrested 17,209 people since the beginning of the lockdown, Police Minister Bheki Cele clarified in a statement on Friday morning.
Cele has earlier announced at a media briefing by the inter-ministerial committee in charge of the response to the novel coronavirus outbreak that about 2,298 had been arrested, but he had only been mentioning the arrests on one day at the end of March.
The minister said on Friday that most of the arrests were made in the Western Cape, which had 4,769. The other arrests were 3,098 in the Free State, 832 in the Northern Cape, 1,845 in KwaZulu-Natal, 1,888 in Gauteng, 1,613 in the Eastern Cape, 1,562 in North West, 752 in Mpumalanga and 850 in Limpopo.
“All the rules being addressed today [Thursday] must be adhered to. Don’t give us a reason to arrest you. We have no issues arresting people if we need to, so don’t give us a reason to,” he said at the briefing.
The lockdown regulations were amended on Thursday to allow for people who are indifferent provinces to travel to bury their loved ones, he said. This, however, can only be done if the person applies for a permit at either police stations and the courts.
Cele said he was glad that the regulations had been relaxed because of the challenges police had observed at provincial borders, especially on the Western Cape and Eastern Cape border.
“We have been inundated with volumes of calls from families seeking clarification or intervention or sometimes even permits relating to travelling to the funerals of their loved ones. Most such calls came from the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape and two particular police stations mentioned were Arbedeen and Aliwal North,” said Cele on Friday.
“The number 50 hasn’t changed. When people request permission to move to attend funerals, they have to understand they might not reach the funeral when the number has exceeded 50,” he warned.
Cele also warned provincial governments to refrain from relaxing the regulations of the lockdown without the approval of the national government.
This was after news emerged that the Western Cape had lifted the ban on the sale of cigarettes.
“The regulations are signed by Minister of Cogta [Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma]. There are no provincial regulations. What is done in Limpopo is expected to be done in Western Cape.
“Businesses shouldn’t complain when police implement national regulations. They shouldn’t make noise when police pounce.”
Cele said he was also glad that the government had explained the role of spaza shops during the lockdown.
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Dlamini-Zuma amended regulations for all spaza shops and informal food traders to operate during the lockdown.
“We are happy that there is clarity on spaza shops. We have asked the commissioner of police to work with spaza shops,” Cele said.
Police have also been criticized for their overzealous use of force during the lockdown.
Several videos of police and soldiers using force to enforce the regulations have surfaced on social media. This has led to the DA launching a social media platform for people to convey their complaints of police brutality.
Cele, however, said the number of police complaints had decreased since the start of the lockdown a week ago. He said in the first three days of the lockdown, the ministry had received 26 complaints, adding that the number had gone down to 12 in the last few days, which meant there was “stability”.
In other news – Minnie Dlamini blasts Forex traders testifying in her comments – Watch
Following many of our favourite celebrities, we surely stand with Minnie Dlamini who in fact may happen to be the first one to come out and blast these testifiers. It is not only these traders who testify but many other individuals like ‘sangomas’ who come and flood their testimonies in the comment sections in a way to market and promote their brands or products.
Therefore such behaviour did not sit well with Mrs. Jones and she has had enough, through a video she has pleaded with such people to stop their annoying ways. continue reading
Source: The Citizen