Police Minister Bheki Cele says almost 300 000 people have been arrested since March for contravening the regulations put in place in terms of the Disaster Management Act and nationwide lockdown.
President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to announce a further easing of lockdown regulations in the coming days with some reports saying alcohol and tobacco product sales may be allowed.
Cele says the majority of arrests were for the transportation of alcohol as well as cross-border related offences. He says it is unfortunate that so many South Africans will now have criminal records.
“To date, 298 252 people have been arrested and charged with contravention of the Disaster Management Act. 181 579 were released on warning to appear before the court. 28 337 of these arrested were found guilty of violations ranging from liquor, gathering, transport business and cross-border related offences. Unfortunately, most of the people arrested will come out with criminal records and it is not our aim to criminalise South Africans.”
In the video below, Police Minister Bheki Cele releases crime statistics for the first quarter:
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