The South African

‘People have completely forgotten that there is danger out there’


Police Minister Bheki Cele, while addressing the media on Level 1 regulations on Tuesday 22 September, said he was scared. He said that lockdown regulations are being flouted as though we are past the pandemic which is a dangerous scenario in and of itself. 


Cele said he has been joining police on certain operations and have found that there are many South Africans still flouting lockdown regulations. Now that the country is under Level 1 lockdown and many restrictions have been eased, Cele said it could pose a serious danger if citizens are not careful. 

“What I’ve seen going around, operating with police, I’m very scared that should the second wave come, it might be more devastating than the first wave,” he said. 

“People have completely forgotten that there is a danger out there. They don’t comply at all, no mask out there, no social distance, people they drink, they dance,” added Cele. 

Cele said over the weekend, while the country was still under Level 2, he joined police operations checking on compliance in Ekurhuleni.

During the multi-disciplinary operations between SAPS, SANDF and provincial traffic law enforcement, he said they came across several shebeens and taverns operating way past the stipulated 22:00 curfew; under alert Level 2.

“More disturbing, was the practice of some liquor outlets squeezing patriots inside their venues with shut windows and doors. This is done to look as if the business is closed for the night, meanwhile drinking and socialising in the confined space is ongoing until the early hours of the morning,” he said. 

Cele urged citizens, especially those in the alcohol business to respect lives. 

“South Africans themselves, they must remember that this is their lives and they must behave as such. We are not out of the woods as South Africans. Let’s remember, we do this so that we can live longer,” he said. 


Cele also said that from the start of lockdown in March to date, 310 494 people have been arrested and charged with contraventions of the Disaster Management Act.

“These violations range from liquor, transport and business and cross border related offences,” he said. 

The Western Cape recorded the most arrests with 72 137 followed by Gauteng Province with 59 000 arrests.

Cele also reminded the public that while social gatherings including concerts, live performances are permitted, nightclubs are still closed. He also said no more than 100 mourners can attend a funeral and night vigils are still off limits.


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