Minister of Police Bheki Cele has clarified government’s stance on the issue of jogging and the walking of dogs during the national lockdown, following contradictory statements that were made.
On Wednesday, 25 March 2020, Bheki Cele had the last word regarding jogging and the walking of dogs during the lockdown, stating that it is prohibited. This was after confusion over whether people in South Africa would be able to jog and walk their dogs freely during the national lockdown. Initial reports stated that people would be able to jog and walk their dogs during the period.
The reports were based on Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize’s address in the morning, which suggested that people would be at liberty to jog within close proximity of their homes. Following his statement, the National Health Insurance (NHI) released a thread and video of his address.
The first clarification the thread shared was that it was fine for people to jog or walk dogs, but had encouraged them to walk short distances. The second clarification was that mass gatherings are prohibited, as they increase the risk of the virus spreading through contact.
However, later on the same evening, General Bheki Cele disregarded the claims made by Dr Zweli Mkhize, stating that the government had revisited the matter and decided against it. In his address, the Minister of Police emphasised that people in South Africa would not be allowed to walk their dogs outside their own premises. In his caption to the video excerpt of his address, Cele stated, “Your dogs will be walked around your house, not beyond that.”
Watch the video below.
I hope we are now all clear. Your dogs will be walked around your house, not beyond that.
— Gen. Bheki Cele. 👮🏽 (@GenBheki_Cele) March 25, 2020