‘7 455 citizens have been arrested for not wearing masks in public’ says Cele

Picture: @LiradzuThemba, Twitter
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Police minister has urged South Africans to adhere to the law after being informed that more than 20 000 people have been arrested for contravening the Disaster Management Act related to new lockdown regulations.

Cele has also noted “with great concern” that 7 455 citizens have been arrested for not wearing masks in public despite people continuously being told to wear their masks.

“Wearing a mask is mandatory and people caught without one in public, are committing an offence. The wearing of masks is both for your safety and the safety of others around you,” Cele said.

In a statement released earlier today, Cele’s spokesperson Lirandzu Themba, said: “The Police Minister, General Bheki Cele has called on South Africans to heed government’s call to adhere to the adjusted lockdown regulations. This comes after over 20 000 people were arrested and/or fined for contravention of the Disaster Management Act, since the start of the Adjusted Level 3 Lockdown on 29 December 2020.”

Themba said a further 834 people were arrested for liquor related infringements such as the sale, dispensing, distribution and transporting of alcohol.

“Minister Cele has commended the majority of South Africans who are complying with the adjusted regulations,” she said.

Cele added: “I want to stress the point that the law enforcement agencies do not enjoy making these arrests as these laws are there to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus that’s ravaging our country.”

He concluded: “However, officers of the SAPS are left with no choice but to act in the interest of saving lives. Therefore, I urge everyone who resides within our borders to respect the laws of this land.”

Themba said since the start of the National Lockdown in March last year, more than 342 000 people have been arrested for contravening the Disaster Management Act.