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You can't be prevented from walking, jogging inside estates – attorney

Attorney Dave Mc Naught from Mc Naught and Company Attorneys said these directives were unlawful and anyone arrested for using the common property in their complexes could claim for damages.

FILE: Security house at a complex. Picture: Pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - A Durban-based law firm has advised people living in sectional title complexes to ignore the police’s instructions not to walk or jog within their complexes.

This week, police warned citizens who lived in complexes and estates that if they did not adhere to the national lockdown regulations, officers would be allowed in to make arrests.

There was much confusion about the rules. Initially, people living in complexes were advised that walking their dogs, jogging or exercising on the common property was allowed. Then police clarified that this was not the case.

However, attorney Dave Mc Naught, from Mc Naught and Company Attorneys, said these directives were unlawful and anyone arrested for using the common property in their complexes could claim for damages.

“In terms of regulation 11B1A1, every person is confined to his or her place of residence. For a free-standing property, this means the owner can go into his or her garden and play with the kids, let the dogs run out outside, maintain and clean the pool and more. There should be no difference in a sectional title complex and nowhere in the regulations is a sectional title complex differentiated from a residence,” he said.

Mc Naught said the police minister was given specific powers to address, prevent, and combat the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), but could not dictate to body corporates.

Police had, however, called on security companies and body corporates to enforce the strict regulations of the national lockdown, saying it was a measure that was put in place to protect citizens.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.