Minister Bheki Cele on arrests for violation of the Disaster Management Act
13 January 2021
The Police Minister, General Bheki Cele has called on South Africans to heed government’s call to adhere to the adjusted lockdown regulations.
This comes after over 20 000 people were arrested and/or fined for contravention of the Disaster Management Act, since the start of the Adjusted Level 3 Lockdown on 29 December 2020.
Cele noted with great concern the arrest of 7 455 citizens who were caught not wearing masks in public.
“These arrests were made despite people being told continuously to wear their masks. Wearing a mask is mandatory and people caught without one in public, are committing an offence. The wearing of masks is both for your safety and the safety of others around you.”
A further 834 people were arrested for liquor related infringements such as for the sale, dispensing, distribution and transporting of alcohol.
Minister Cele has commended the majority of South Africans who are complying with the adjusted regulations.
“I want to stress the point that the law enforcement agencies do not enjoy making these arrests as these laws are there to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus that’s ravaging our country. However, officers of the SAPS are left with no choice but to act in the interest of saving lives. Therefore, I urge everyone who resides within our borders to respect the laws of this land. The regulations are among our arsenal against this deadly virus and failure to comply with them, certainly will result in more people being infected and more lives being lost,” Cele concluded.
Since the start of the National Lockdown in March 2020, over 342 000 people have been arrested for contravening the Disaster Management Act.
Issued by Lirandzu Themba, Police Ministry Spokesperson, 12 January 2021