Police Beach South Africa Riette de Bruyn
SAPS and the Army were on patrol at Garden Route beaches on Sunday. Photo: Riette de Bruyn

20,000 people have been arrested and/or fined in South Africa for breaking Lockdown regulations, leading Police Minister Bheki Cele to urge South Africans to please adhere to the adjusted Covid-19 lockdown regulations which include the mandatory wearing of masks in public and beaches being off limits.

In a statement, Cele noted with great concern the arrest of 7 455 citizens who were caught not wearing masks in public.

“These arrests were made despite people being told continuously to wear their masks. Wearing a mask is mandatory and people caught without one in public are committing an offence. The wearing of masks is both for your safety and the safety of others around you,” said the Minister.

A further 834 people were arrested for liquor related infringements such as for the sale, dispensing, distribution and transporting of alcohol.

Minister Cele commended the majority of South Africans who are complying with the adjusted regulations.

“I want to stress the point that the law enforcement agencies do not enjoy making these arrests as these laws are there to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus that’s ravaging our country. However, officers of the SAPS are left with no choice but to act in the interest of saving lives.

“Therefore, I urge everyone who resides within our borders to respect the laws of this land. The regulations are among our arsenal against this deadly virus and failure to comply with them, certainly will result in more people being infected and more lives being lost,” he said.

Last week foreign tourists were arrested in Langebaan on South Africa’s West Coast for being on the beach and surfing.

Since the start of the National Lockdown in March 2020, over 342 000 people have been arrested for contravening the Disaster Management Act. – SAnews.gov.za