Police Minister Bheki Cele said SAPS members arrested more than 7,000 people for failing to wear masks as part of the adjusted Level 3 lockdown in South Africa.
In an interview on Tuesday, Cele said that since December 27, when the new regulations were introduced, a total of 20,600 lockdown-related arrests have been made in total.
He said most of those arrests related to the country’s current ban on the sale and transport of alcohol. Despite these higher numbers, Cele said more South Africans appear to be wearing masks.
“We have found better compliance, perhaps because people realize that the situation is serious, but also because we can now enforce the (no) wearing of masks.
“The police will arrest people who break the law.” He said that under the country’s current Level 3 lockdown, it is an offense not to wear a mask in public places.
Cele said that when people are arrested for not wearing masks, they are taken to a police station where they are formally charged and have their fingerprints taken.
He added that this process will give South Africans a criminal record, which they should “be very wary of”.
Under South Africa’s Level 3 lockout regulations, a “face mask” means a cloth mask or a homemade item that covers the nose and mouth, or other suitable item to cover the nose and mouth. mouth.
Wearing a face mask is compulsory for anyone in a public place. excluding a child under six years old. anyone who does not comply with a verbal instruction from an enforcement officer to wear a face shield commits an offense and is, on conviction. liable to a fine and / or imprisonment not exceeding six months.
In addition, no person will be allowed to perform the following activities if they are not wearing a mask:
- Use, make it work. perform any service on any form of public transport;
- Entering or being in any building, place or premises, including government buildings, places or premises. used by the public to obtain goods or services;
- Be in any open public space.
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