According to reports, Cape Town parents have been arrested for tending to their toddler who wandered on to Muizenberg beach “illegally” during the lockdown exercise window.
According to Liam Bulgen (38), at around 08:30, he and his family decided to use the last 30 minutes of the ‘Level 4 lockdown exercise window’ for a quick stroll after having dropped off food for a nearby community in Muizenberg.
Reports state that not long after they started their walk, their 21-month-old daughter, Florence, ran towards the beach where she sat down in the sand. Before the couple could get their daughter off the beach, “the police came, in full force, and escorted us to their vehicles,” Bulgen says.
The couple reportedly tried to plead their case with the police while being escorted to the SAPS vehicles.
“We were both trying to understand what was happening. The one officer – ‘the muscle’ (a reference to a well-built policeman) – told me over and over again I was stupid, ‘because my daughter can die’,” Bulgen said.
All three were taken to the local police station where they spent about 3 hours. Bulgen said that the police officer transporting his fiancee and daughter was not wearing a mask.
Bulgen asked if a family member or a friend could come to get her, however, police allegedly said if anyone came down they would be charged.
The couple has allegedly been charged with “sitting on the beach” and for “failing to confine to residence”. They have also been asked to appear in court on 6 August.
Tereza of Czech nationality has been in South Africa for “10 years – and was in the process of applying for a new visa.”
“She told the officer, a captain, that any pending criminal charge could be damaging to her visa application,” Bulgen said
Bulgen continued to say that if his finance gets charged criminally, she will have to leave the country with their child.
He said the police had responded that they would immediately ensure the visa application noted the pending criminal charge against her.
According to IOL, Western Cape police confirmed the arrests for alleged contravention of Disaster Management Act regulations, and that they would appear in court in August.