Naidoo's attorney, Shamla Pather, described the incident as a “complete abuse of the legal system”.
Paul Jorgensen, an advocate whom Pather instructed to act on behalf of Naidoo, said: “I do appreciate they are trying to do good, but what happened was all about publicity and scare tactics and not about justice.”
Dube-Ncube said the department had been inundated with calls from people complaining about a sudden increase in prices at various retailers, including pharmacies and butcheries.
“The department's consumer protection services has received more than 2,000 complaints, most relating to price hiking,” she said. “There are workers who have complained about a lack of social distance, unhygienic conditions and lack of sanitisers.”
Responding to the concerns raised by affected business owners, the national police spokesperson, Brig Vish Naidoo, said these had been “noted”.
“However, our security forces are guided by the Disaster Management Act when executing their duties during this lockdown period.
“I am unfortunately not privy to the merits of every case that is happening around the country,” he said.