Minister of Police Bheki Cele spent his Wednesday [January 6] visiting multiple beaches in the Mossel Bay area, forming part of his two-day visit to the Garden Route.

Cele, along with members of the police, patrolled the beaches to ensure compliance with Level 3 lockdown regulations.

According to Cele, there has been overall compliance in the West Coast, except for cases in Langebaan where surfers were still spotted in the sea. Cele says that most of the non-compliant people are foreign nationals from Europe.

On Wednesday, SAPS arrested a Langebaan surfer for breaking lockdown regulations.

The Mossel Bay Advertiser reports that Cele had three jet skiers removed from Santos beach, as well as people on a yacht in the bay.

Both the Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow Minister of Police Andrew Whitfield and the Western Cape Minister of Community Safety Albert Fritz have criticised Cele’s “skewed priorities“, arguing that he is focusing too much on beaches when he should be paying attention to major crime issues like rape and gender-based violence.

“It is well known that South Africa suffers from an extremely high crime rate. Rape, gender-based violence, murder, farm attacks and gang warfare are all but out of control… It is under circumstances such as this that Minister Cele chooses to prioritise the chasing down of surfers on the beach and the confrontation of sunbathers and joggers on promenades,” Whitfield said in a statement.

Fritz agreed, adding: “The Western Cape Government believes that the rule of law in South Africa must always be upheld, and the regulations must be enforced even if we disagree with them. However, it is increasingly clear from his ‘media tour’ in the Western Cape that the National Minister is significantly more passionate about arresting surfers​ than arresting gang leaders in the Cape Flats and other communities across South Africa.”

Picture: Screenshot from video

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