Correlation between people who don’t listen and spread of virus: Bheki Cele

Police minister Bheki Cele on Thursday provided details on policing under level 3.
Police minister Bheki Cele on Thursday provided details on policing under level 3.
Image: GCIS

Police minister Bheki Cele said there was a correlation between the number of people arrested by his department and the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

Speaking during a media briefing on Thursday evening, Cele said 243,164 people had been arrested since the start of the lockdown period. The bulk of them came from the Western Cape, which currently accounts for the significant majority of Covid-19 cases and deaths in SA. 

“There is a relationship that is not very good here. Most of the people that have been arrested, they come from the hot areas. For instance, Western Cape leads in terms of the people that have been arrested, and then Gauteng is second,” said Cele.

“There is a correlation between those people that don’t listen and the spread of the virus.”

Cele said he had been in discussion with justice minister Ronald Lamola to see how people who had committed petty crimes did not find themselves with criminal records.

“We don’t want to produce a country of criminals, so it’s one thing that the minister of justice is dealing with - with the police and the courts.”

He said level 3 of the lockdown would see the police increase the number of roadblocks in some areas which have been identified as hotspots.

The minister further warned people who move around without face masks or permits.

“It is regarded as an offence. If you break it, it means you are committing an offence. It’s very clear here what happens to those people that will be breaking the regulations.”


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