If the strin­gent laws are bro­ken, one could end up in jail and be fined; ev­ery­thing shut ex­cept phar­ma­cies and food stores


PO­LICE Min­is­ter Bheki Cele has called on South Africans to obey the rules of staying at home or face pos­si­ble jail time.

The SAPS and the SANDF are mov­ing into com­mu­ni­ties to en­force the na­tional lock­down from mid­night.

This comes as the coun­try of­fi­cially goes into a 21-day na­tional shut­down which will see peo­ple be­ing forced to stay at home and most busi­nesses closed, as the coun­try es­ca­lates its mea­sures to con­tain the spread of coro­n­avirus. Cases in the coun­try had surged to over 700 yes­ter­day.

Cele and other se­cu­rity clus­ter min­is­ters out­lined a list of pro­hib­ited activities and op­er­a­tions dur­ing 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, or­gan­i­sa­tional or re­lated activities were banned from tak­ing place in the next 21 days.

He an­nounced a to­tal ban on the sale of al­co­hol and non-es­sen­tial move­ment, ad­ding that all restau­rants and 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 (open) out­lets and cook at home, so there is no need to be on the road. There is no need to move around. There was a story that you can walk your dogs. There shall be no dogs that will be walked. The clus­ter met and dis­cussed and we agreed it does not en­hance the call made by the pres­i­dent,” Cele said.

He said the move­ment of liquor would be to­tally pro­hib­ited dur­ing the lock­down. “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 or a fine, or both,” Cele said.

He said two peo­ple had al­ready been charged with at­tempted mur­der in KwaZulu-Na­tal for trans­gres­sions.

“It is not a fairy­tale to say the law will act very harshly on you. We hope we will work to­gether here,” he said.

The ban on al­co­hol would re­duce car ac­ci­dents and vi­o­lent drunken brawls and open space in hos­pi­tals to ac­com­mo­date Covid-19 pa­tients when the in­fec­tions wors­ened, he said.

The lock­down will also see beaches, pools, game re­serves and ho­tels closed ex­cept where they were al­lowed to open due to the pres­ence of tourists.

The cur­few would in­clude pa­trols, road­blocks, clo­sures and searches.

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. Like the Con­sti­tu­tion of the Repub­lic SA man­dates the SANDF to de­fend and pro­tect the Repub­lic, its ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity and its peo­ple in or­der to pre­serve life, health and prop­er­ties 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. Buses and minibuses would only be al­lowed to trans­port es­sen­tial service work­ers, with those banned from op­er­at­ing given fi­nan­cial re­lief.

As part of mea­sures for small busi­nesses, taxis would be granted a three-month pay­ment holiday for taxis fi­nanced by the Na­tional Taxi Fi­nance in­sti­tu­tion.

Banks were con­sid­er­ing fol­low­ing suit.

PO­LICE Min­is­ter Bheki Cele

TRANS­PORT Min­is­ter Fik­ile Mbalula

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