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Arrests at N4 lockdown roadblock as police send motorists back home

17 April 2020 - 16:50 By Kgaugelo Masweneng
Police pull over cars at a roadblock on the N4 highway towards Pretoria on Friday.
Police pull over cars at a roadblock on the N4 highway towards Pretoria on Friday.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

At least two people were arrested and nine others sent back home at a roadblock on the N4 highway between Mpumalanga and Gauteng on Friday.

The operation — which was attended by MECs from both provinces — was meant to strengthen and monitor compliance by public transport operators and other road users during the extended lockdown.

Mpumalanga community safety MEC Gabisile Tshabalala sent a stern warning to motorists who might attempt to travel without permits.

“This is a 24-hour operation. We have deployment from both provinces to make sure no-one is illegally crossing from one province to another. People should not take chances, we are very strict. People who are deployed here know that very well and are radical about ensuring compliance,” Tshabalala said.

Mpumalanga community safety MEC Gabisile Tshabalala (in yellow) and her Gauteng counterpart Faith Mazibuko (in orange) at the roadblock on the N4 highway on Friday.
Mpumalanga community safety MEC Gabisile Tshabalala (in yellow) and her Gauteng counterpart Faith Mazibuko (in orange) at the roadblock on the N4 highway on Friday.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

She reminded those going to funerals to adhere to the regulations.

“It’s Friday, so people who say they are going to funerals must remember to have the right documents,” she said.

On the arrests, Tshabalala said: “We have arrested two people for driving unroadworthy cars and without valid driving licences. Their vehicles were impounded.

“We have turned five cars back from Mpumalanga and four from Gauteng.”

Gauteng safety MEC Faith Mazibuko warned motorists about travelling with alcohol.

“That one is non-negotiable. We will arrest you. No-one is supposed to be selling, drinking or transporting alcohol at this time. The regulations are clear.

“Let’s try to protect one another. We know those who are buying traditional alcohol ingredients ... don’t do it,” Mazibuko cautioned.

Mazibuko said officials also encountered an apparent traditional healer at the roadblock.

“He was carrying axes and we confiscated them. He must prove that he is a healer and why he was travelling with them during this time,” Mazibuko said.

The man was allowed to go on his way, but would have to meet police once the lockdown was over to prove he was a traditional healer. If he could, then he would get the items back.

Various law enforcement operations are being conducted across the country to enforce the regulations put in place by government to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.


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