Stay at home or face possible jail time – Cele
Two Covid-19 patients who failed to adhere to quarantine rules in KwaZulu-Natal arrested
POLICE Minister Bheki Cele has warned South Africans to stay home or face possible jail time as the SAPS and the SANDF move into communities to enforce the national lockdown from midnight.
This as two KwaZulu-Natal Covid-19 patients who failed to adhere to strict quarantine rules were arrested.
The 21-day national shutdown will see people being forced to stay at home and most businesses closed, as the country escalates its measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, with recorded cases in the country yesterday surging to more than 700, with no deaths reported.
Cele and other security cluster ministers outlined a list of prohibited activities and operations in the next three weeks, adding that people would be jailed for six months or fined – or both – if they transgressed.
Cele indicated that religious, cultural, sporting, entertainment, recreational, exhibition organisational or related activities were banned.
He also announced a total ban on alcohol sale and movement of alcohol, along with and non-essential movement, adding that all restaurants and
“It is not a fairy tale to say the law will act very harsh on you. Bheki Cele Police Minister
shopping centres would be forced to close, with the exception of grocery stores and pharmacies.
“There shall be no food at restaurants. You buy food from these outlets and go and cook at home, so there is no need to be on the road. There is no need to move around.
“There was a little bit of a story earlier that you can walk your dogs. There shall be no dogs that will be walked.
“The cluster met and discussed, and we agreed that it does not enhance the call made by the president,” Cele said.
“There shall be no movement of liquor from point A to point B.
“If we find liquor in your boot, that is illegal. That is a crime, which means what you have at your home, you will consume there, not next door.
“To show that we are serious, if you break these laws or regulations, you face six months (in jail) or a fine or both.”
He said the total ban on alcohol would reduce car accidents and violent, drunken brawls, and open up space in hospitals to accommodate Covid-19 patients when the infections worsened.
He said the law was already taking its course on the two KZN patients who had been charged.
“It is not a fairy tale to say the law will act very harsh on you. We hope we will work together here,” he said.
The lockdown would also see beaches, pools, game reserves and hotels closed, except where they were allowed to open due to the presence of tourists.
Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said while soldiers were
deployed to ensure enforcement of the lockdown, this was not meant to subject civilians to abuse and violence.
“The national lockdown is definitely not meant to punish citizens by restricting their movements, but it is meant to contain and minimise the spread of this virus.
“The Constitution... mandates the SANDF to defend and protect the Republic, its territorial integrity and its people in order to preserve life, health and property in emergency and humanitarian relief operations,” Mapisa-Nqakula said.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said all passenger flights, rail services and cruise ships would shut down.
He said buses and minibus taxis would only be allowed to transport essential service workers, with those banned from operating to be given financial relief.
As part of the relief measures for small businesses in distress, taxi operators would be granted a three-month payment holiday for taxis financed by the National Taxi Finance institution, while banks were also considering following suit.
HUNDREDS of shoppers queue outside Giant Hyper in Brackenfell to buy goods before the national lockdown from midnight. President Cyril Rampahosa announced the lockdown on Monday as part of stopping the spread of Covid-19. See page 4