PRETORIA, South Africa – Police Minister Bheki Cele says police will not be hesitant to make arrests as the country moves to an adjusted level 3 lockdown.
Cele was briefing the media as part of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) on Tuesday on the enforcement of the new regulations.
The minister said the issue of masks has been a particular concern for the police for sometime.
“Our police have been out there making a plea that people must wear their mask which up to this point has been found to be a major preventative.
“We are glad now that the enforcement has been heightened, we are not just going to tell you to wear your mask or remind you to wear a mask, if you don’t you will definitely be arrested or fined.”
Cele said people found to be arrested or fined will have criminal records for not wearing a mask.
“We want people to respect this, there will be consequences,” he said.
Cele spoke about a clamp down on the distribution of alcohol during level 3 of the restrictions.
Under the regulations, alcohol sales have again been banned, to decrease the number of trauma cases in hospitals.
Cele said: “Alcohol may not be sold anywhere.
“Whether off or on consumption, the transportation of alcohol is also prohibited.
“There is no moving alcohol from point A to point B.
“No putting it in your (car) boot, no taking it next door to drink it there.
“The alcohol must stay where it is.
“You are only allowed to drink the alcohol you have in your house.”
Earlier this month, Cele said more resources would be deployed to enforce stringent measures to ensure compliance with lockdown regulations.
Cele was on a two-day trip as part of a “Safer Festive Season” inspection tour in the Western Cape.
Under the new regulations the curfew has now been moved to 9pm-6am.
Cele said police will not delay to arrest should anyone be caught outside of the curfew times.
“We usually tell you to go home, now we will give you a new home (police station).
“If we see anyone vagabonding outside during 9pm-6am we will make sure you greet the magistrate and it will be a criminal offence.”
Cele said anyone who commits this office could spend up to six months in jail.