Home South African Increased policing to enforce lockdown regulations on alcohol and tobacco, warns Cele

Increased policing to enforce lockdown regulations on alcohol and tobacco, warns Cele

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Citizens can expect more roadblocks and patrols, warns police minister

Police Minister Bheki Cele: File picture: Siyabulela Duda / GCIS

POLICE Minister Bheki Cele has warned citizens that the SAPS, SANDF and traffic police members will be patrolling and conducting regular roadblocks to ensure that regulations banning the sale of alcohol and tobacco are strictly adhered to.

Cele was speaking on Wednesday at the justice, crime prevention and security cluster briefing.

The briefing follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address on Sunday where he announced an introduction of a curfew between 9pm and 4am and a ban on alcohol sales.

Cele said alcohol could only be consumed at home and anyone found transporting alcohol would be arrested.

He said citizens should refrain from buying alcohol during this time as it was illegal. If one is found violating the regulations they will face a fine or even jail time depending on the discretion of the magistrate presiding over the matter.

“People are allowed to drink alcohol in private, inside their homes or their yards but not in public spaces, on pavements or in their vehicles. Law enforcement officials have been instructed to act resolutely to enforce compliance with the regulations, arresting those who breach the regulations and ensuring that they are successfully prosecuted. Convictions will result in either fines or jail terms depending on the discretion of the court,” Cele said.

He also stressed that the wearing of masks was now mandatory and people found not to be wearing a mask in public could face a fine and/or jail time.

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola clarified that a compliance officer responsible for ensuring that people wear masks in a building will be the one who faces a fine.

“Criminalising (for the public) is still on the agenda. If there is continued non-compliance the government will consider criminalising the non-wearing of masks by members of the public,” Lamola said.

The security cluster is also concerned about gatherings that take place before or after a funeral. He said these should stop.

“The cluster has noticed an increase in social gatherings before and after funerals. The night vigil before the burial and the so-called “after-tears” following the burial, remain prohibited gatherings. No alcohol may be consumed at the actual funeral either.”