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Winde: Brutality during lockdown enforcement unacceptable

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said that government must ensure abuse did not play a part in policing the lockdown.

An SANDF soldier at a roadblock in Woodstock, Cape Town on 27 March 2020. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has labelled incidents of brutality during the lockdown period as unacceptable.

Since the nationwide lockdown came into effect, there's been a slew of complaints from the public about police and members of the army who've been heavy-handed during lockdown operations.

Premier Alan Winde said that government must ensure abuse did not play a part in policing the lockdown.

In one of the incidents reported to authorities, a woman and her family were harassed and assaulted allegedly by soldiers conducting a lockdown operation in Eerste River.

Tersia Pedro told Eyewitness News that a group of SANDF members stormed their home on Thursday night.

She said that her children were gunpointed and her husband had a gun shoved into his mouth and was beaten until he struggled to breathe. A doctor confirmed the man suffered a concussion.

"It's not right that they can come into the house when we haven't been anywhere. We're staying inside because we don't want to get this virus. These people came into the house, I think there was one person who had a mask and gloves on, all of them ran through my house touching everything. I don't kow where they'd been. I had to sanitise my entire house."

The Democratic Alliance (DA) last week launched a WhatsApp line to report violations in response to the growing public backlash towards police and the SANDF.

Party leader John Steenhuisen said the line, which was being monitored by members of the DA's security and justice cluster, could be used by the public to report acts of assault, humiliation or bribery by law-enforcement officials during the lockdown period.

WATCH: COVID-19 Situation Desk - 6 April 2020 AM

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

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