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Gauteng residents who tested positive face arrest

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This was 'a matter of life and death'

GAUTENG residents who tested positive for the deadly Coronavirus and defied calls to remain in the province face arrest and prosecution on their return.

This was revealed by Gauteng Premier David Makhura following a disturbing report that a man visited his family and friends in Tzaneen, Limpopo despite testing positive prior to his trip.

Makhura, however, said they were looking for others. 

“We will find them in South Africa. It is our collective responsibility with the law enforcement agencies to find them,” Makhura said.

Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela said this was “a matter of life and death.”

“One mistake can cause the loss of lives of many people in Gauteng,” Lieutenant-General Mawela emphasised.

Mawela said the police and the army have identified 43 major and secondary routes where they would conduct regular roadblocks. According to Mawela – the major roadblocks will be held at the 11 of the national and provincial roads to identify the suspects singled out by Makhura.

He also said further roadblocks will be held at other provincial and municipal roads to contain the illegal movements of people.

Gauteng acting MEC for Social Development Panyaza Lesufi also announced extra measures to assist homeless people in Tshwane after describing their living conditions as a crisis. Lesufi said his department has decided to turn the Caledonian Stadium into a centre to screen and test homeless people. He said they would also be tested and treated for other ailments before prescribing any medication for them.

“We have decided to accommodate all the homeless people at the Tshwane Events Centre. We are going to erect more tents for them to live there during the period of the lockdown. If the number increases, we will accommodate them at the various unused schools in Tshwane,” Lesufi said.

Meanwhile,  South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has announced extra measures to clamp down on people and businesses who are defying the 21-day nationwide lockdown.

In a bid to boost the role of the army in implementing regulations of the lockdown – army bosses including Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula have made a call to members of the Reserve Force to complement the more than 2 800 soldiers who are already deployed in the country to fight against Covid-19.

SANDF spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said the call up was in line with the National Disaster Management Act  of 2002 section 27 (2).

Dlamini said the Act  provides that the SANDF must release its personnel to a national

organ of state for rendering of emergency services. He also said the act further provides

for the SANDF to assist with the movement of persons and goods to and from or within the disaster stricken or threatened areas.

“The SANDF will be deployed in various capacities in the implementation of the national lockdown in order to execute a broad plan of urban and rural operations.

“Similarly, the SA Military Health Service has called up Reserve Force doctors, nurses, operational emergency care practitioners together with teams to work with other health practitioners in various fields,” Dlamini said.

He said the army was grateful to the Reserve Force members for their willingness to serve and appealed to civilian employers to release their staff members called up for Reserve Force Service.