Police minister warns South Africans: “we will pull you to walk with us”

Police minister Bheki Cele says that 55 people have been arrested for breaking the lockdown rules imposed by president Cyrial Ramaphosa, which came into effect on Thursday night.

This comes after health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize announced that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa has climbed to 1,170 – an increase of 243 cases since Thursday’s report.

Speaking at a media briefing this evening, Cele said that five people were arrested in Free State, 20 in Gauteng, seven in KZN, 10 in Limpopo, 11 in North West and two in the Western Cape.

Cele said their phones have been “abuzz” with reports from citizens about people breaking the lockdown regulations.

He thanked South Africans who have cooperated with the new regulations, and who have reported those who have not adhered to the new laws under the lockdown.

He said that following the start of the lockdown, 172 roadblocks have been put up in South Africa – with just under 24,000 police officers, metro police, and “other enforcers” manning them.

It was also confirmed that SANDF soldiers have been deployed to all provinces in South Africa.

For the next three weeks South Africans will be forced to remain at home, as businesses across the country shut down, and only essential services and employees have been exempted.

For the period of lockdown: every person is confined to his or her place of residence, unless strictly for the purpose of performing an essential service, obtaining an essential good or service, collecting a social grant, or seeking emergency, life saving, or chronic medical attention.

Movement means entering or leaving a place of residence or, in the case of people nor ordinarily resident in the Republic, their place of temporary residence while in the Republic.

Cele conceded that more needs to be done in relation to the buying of goods – with people not adhering to social distancing. He said that his department is in consultation on how to address this.

The police minister warned South Africans: “If you don’t join us to walk with us, we will pull you to walk with us.”

Read: 1,170 confirmed coronavirus infections in South Africa

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Police minister warns South Africans: “we will pull you to walk with us”