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Expect more roadblocks and patrols, warns Cele

Police Minister Bheki Cele made the comments during the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster (JCPS) briefing on Wednesday.

Police Minister Bheki Cele during media briefing on Crime statistics during COVID-19 lockdown in Pretoria on 22 May 2020. Picture: Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Police Minister Bheki Cele has warned South Africans to expect more roadblocks as government enforces lockdown regulations.

Cele made the comments during the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster (JCPS) briefing on Wednesday.

The JCPS serves in the National Coronavirus Command Council and updated the nation on government’s plans to combat the spread of COVID-19 following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation on Sunday.

Cele said that the JCPS was deeply concerned by the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country. By 14 July the country had 298,292 confirmed coronavirus cases, with more than 4,000 deaths.

“We all know of someone who tested positive or we have a family member who has been infected. We’ve seen the devastation COVID-19 has brought on health, lives, business and jobs. This pandemic is indiscriminate. No one is immune.”

Cele said that more police officials would be deployed to improve compliance with lockdown measures announced by Ramaphosa and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

“These will include police visibility, roadblocks, and patrols, where applicable in streets, malls and other areas where people avoid social distancing protocols.”

The Police Minister said that they’d take action against people selling alcohol and tobacco products illegally.

“There will also be random stop and search operations to ensure the prohibition of the trade of alcohol and tobacco is not being subverted. Law enforcement officials will depend on the cooperation of community members.”

On Sunday, Ramaphosa announced a number of amended regulations under level 3 lockdown. These measures include a curfew between 9pm and 4am, as well as banning the sale of alcohol and social visits.

‘TAXIS ARE EASY’

Government has now allowed taxis to load at 100% capacity, provided that people wear masks. The move came despite concerns that it could further spread the virus.

The Police Minister told South Africans that monitoring taxis would be “easy”.

“Implementation is easy, you’ll find us on the road. Taxis are all on the road and they need to maintain the law on the road. They can load at 100% capacity under strict protocols. They must wear masks, from the driver to all passengers. I am told that they must have the windows open. We have not been told what to do when they get cold. But there must be sanitiser.”

The minister said that for long distance trips, drivers must only load at 70% capacity.

“Police will provide more direction on what will happen to you for breaking the law.”

WATCH: GBV took a serious turn after alcohol ban was lifted - Police Minister

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