Thousands arrested for not adhering to lockdown rules in South Africa

MORE than two thousand people have been arrested in South Africa for failing to comply with the regulations of the 21-day lockdown, said Police Minister Bheki Cele.

‘Since the 27th, 2,289 people have been arrested for breaking these regulations,’ he said in a press briefing on Thursday night.

Cele said that over 24,000 police officers working with defence force were deployed to enforce the rules of the lockdown.

He warned that the regulations were implemented at national levels, noting that every citizen across the country was required to follow them.

‘These are national regulations, what is done in Limpopo should be done in the Western Cape. I understand that there are provinces that are beginning to come with their own regulations. The police will stick with the national regulations, don’t complain when the police pounce,’ he said.

During the lockdown, citizens are allowed to go out and buy essential products such as medicine and food. Jogging and gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited.

During the same briefing, it emerged that the state would use mobile interception to trace people who came in contact with COVID-19 patients.

‘This is not spying on anyone. It’s in our interest to minimize the spread of the virus, we will not take anybody’s number. We want access to geolocation. We respect the fact that everyone has a right to privacy,’ said Telecomm and Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. She said the government would not listen to people’s conversations.

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