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Lockdown: Man going to see girlfriend among 16 arrested near Soweto

Motorists and passengers have been arrested for contravening the COVID-19 Disaster Management Act which prohibits anyone, except for essential service workers and those who are going to buy food, from being on a public road.

The city of Joburg’s operation on the N1 Western By-pass near Soweto where motorists and pedestrians have been arrested for contravening the Covid-19 disaster management act. Picture: Kgomotso Modise/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – At least 16 people have been arrested in a City of Joburg operation on the N1 near Soweto.

Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) officers are accompanied by Mayor Geoff Makhubo, concentrating on the western bypass on Friday.

Motorists and passengers have been arrested for contravening the COVID-19 Disaster Management Act – which prohibits anyone, except for essential service workers and those who are going to buy food, from being on a public road.

A team of metro police officials is spread across the highway in both the northerly and southerly directions.

Mayor Makhubo said they decided on this because people don’t seem to be taking the rules of the lockdown seriously.

“We decided that we must have a surprise roadblock. We started in the morning in Sandton. We’ve done the N1 north, now we are doing the N1 south.”

He said he has heard some interesting excuses from motorists.

“A man just 'killed' his granny. He said his granny died and he is going to the hospital where the granny died. When we asked him for the number, he said: ‘I’m sorry I am going to Randburg to see my girlfriend’.”

Mayoral spokesperson Mlimandlela Ndamase said people tried to mislead officers during Friday’s roadblock.

“We must emphasize to society and to our people that it is not a joke; people must stay at home and they must appreciate what is happening with respect to COVID-19 throughout the world.”

He says people must realize that if they cannot substantiate why they are on the roads, they will be arrested.

“Compliance with what the police officials is important.”

Officials loaded people into metro police vehicles and taking them to the Diepkloof police station.

The operation has been completed for now, but the mayor insists Friday’s work was the first of many.

BENROSE BUSINESS SHUT DOWN FOR FLOUTING LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS

The labour department has closed businesses in Benrose, Johannesburg, for violating the lockdown regulations.

Several businesses have been ignoring the lockdown regulations and the department is acting.

Officials from the labour department and the Hawks pounced on TKN Southern Africa - a manufacturer of mops and brushes and plastics.

The owners were found to be disregarding the lockdown regulations.

Officials there also found two undocumented Malawian workers who were living in the factory.

Labour department advocate Michael Msizi said that the owners would be facing a number of charges.

“Well have a factory that we'll be shutting down. We have two people that have been working against the rules in terms of COVID-19 lockdown. They were producing mops and brooms. We also found there is non-compliance entirely in terms of occupational health and safety legislation.”

The owners will appear in court soon.

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