'They are against SA': Cele slams people breaking lockdown laws

27 March 2020 - 19:27 By Matthew Savides
Police minister Bheki Cele.
Police minister Bheki Cele.
Image: Esa Alexander

At least 55 people have been arrested for breaking lockdown laws, police minister Bheki Cele said on Friday evening.

The majority were from Gauteng.

“These people are people that don’t have a goodwill – people that are doing exactly what they were told not to do. Some of them were opening their street bashes, some of them were drinking, taking their bush chairs, sitting under the trees and undermining the law.

“But more than that, undermining the lives of the people of the Republic of South Africa, and their own lives,” said Cele.

On March 26 2020, is the start of a new period of uncertainty as South Africans adapt to life under a nationwide lockdown in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Here are some of the answers to your 'leaving home' questions.

Speaking at a briefing of the justice, crime prevention and security cluster, he said: “People that were breaking the law, the [lockdown] regulations, the liquor laws, last night, 55 of them were arrested. In the Free State, we arrested five. In Gauteng, we arrested 20, six of them from Alex and 14 from the rest of Gauteng.

“In KZN we arrested seven from the suburb of Montclair. In Limpopo we arrested 10, the North West we arrested 11, and Western Cape we arrested two.”

He added: “You must remember that what is happening here is not the war against any citizen of the RSA. It’s a war against this enemy called coronavirus. But whoever is breaking the law, whoever is not working with SA ... is joining the enemy against the people of SA.

“And we are there to make sure that we defend the people of SA –  including those people that are breaking the law themselves, we are defending them here. So we will continue to do this.”

The national lockdown began at midnight on Thursday March 26 2020. South Africans were ordered to stay at home by President Cyril Ramaphosa, yet hundreds of people still roamed the streets of Cape Town’s CBD on Friday. We took a look at how law enforcement is attempting to enforce the president's orders and spoke to some of the people on the streets.