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Cele threatens arrests for failure to adhere to COVID-19 safety regulations

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Bheki Cele has threatened to arrest citizens that fail to adhere to the COVID-19 safety regulations, with some 340 000 people reportedly arrested in 2020 for such offences.

Minister of Police, Bheki Cele endorsed a statement on Wednesday, 13 January 2021, on the consequences for failure to adhere to Alert Level 3 restrictions and regulations. Cele, in his capacity as the Police Minister, has been a cause for contention, particularly because of his apparent disdain for alcohol. The matter has been highlighted throughout the pandemic.

In the statement, Cele was quoted as saying, “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.”

In the two weeks since the Level 3 restrictions have been re-introduced, an estimated 20 000 arrests have been made. Moreover, in 2020, the South African Police Service (SAPS) reportedly made approximately 340 000 arrests for failure to adhere to the restrictions.

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Sabelo Makhubo
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