The Western Cape has the highest number of arrests during lockdown in the country. Over 260 people were arrested for being in contravention of the National Disaster Act over the weekend.
Approximately 255 people were arrested in Cape Town on Saturday, March 27, whereas on Friday, March 26, only two arrests were made. This is a drastic increase.
During a media briefing over the weekend, Minister of Police Bheki Cele said he is confident that the number of arrests is not indicative of how successful the lockdown is. He believes the lockdown will be a success.
“This virus is catastrophic and we are seeing this in Europe. So we don’t understand why there are individuals who think they can beat the system,” he said, as reported by IOL. “We are going to be harsh on them.”
“We have been instructed by the chief commander that there must not be ‘skop and donner’ but said we’ll have to push and nudge civilians who don’t abide by the regulations,” Cele said.
The Minister also touched on videos that have circulated social media showing police officers and members of the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) being forceful with citizens, saying these videos are old and that authorities are carrying out their jobs as necessary. He also said these allegations are false.
“We have seen a lot of fake news being shared on social media. As a result a man has been arrested for spreading fake news and we are warning people to stop this or face the law,” Cele said. “However, if there is someone who was assaulted, I would encourage them to open a case and provide evidence so that the incident can be investigated.”