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S/Africa: Over 300,000 arrested during Covid 19 lockdown – Minister

Over 300,000 South Africans have been arrested and charged for violating the coronavirus pandemic lockdown regulations since the exercise started in March this year, Police Minister Bheki Cele has said.The violations were in the transport and business sectors, and cross-border related offences, Cele said on Tuesday.

The minister warned the public that more arrests would follow for those failing to abide by the National Disaster Management Act’s guidelines to contain the virus as spelled out in the new Level One restrictions.

With his 215 police officers succumbing to the disease from 16,539 cases in the service, the minister condemned liquor outlet owners who’ve been breaking lockdown regulations by using various tricks in order to avoid getting caught.

“I want to remind all the business owners who insist on flouting the rules, the long arm of the law will catch up with you and you will also lose your operating licenses,” he said.

Cele also lamented gender-based violence which he said was at crises level in the country since the lockdown started six months ago.

His ministry, however, was committed to providing victim-friendly rooms at all police stations for victims of gender-based violence, the minister said.

Published on 28.04.2020

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