[imagesource: Marco Longari / AFP]
Last night, as the clock struck midnight, South Africa entered 21 days of lockdown.
At this point, we should probably mention that the lockdown period can be extended past those 21 days, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Many of the lockdown rules and regulations remain a little unclear at this point, but there was no mixed messaging around being outside of the house, and selling liquor.
Back to those arrests, though, with this from TimesLIVE:
Police officers and metro cops began patrolling the streets of Johannesburg and had already made arrests after some people chose to ignore the lockdown rules…
Several arrests were made in Hillbrow.
Among those arrested were a club owner who continued to operate after midnight despite calls from police minister Bheki Cele for taverns, clubs, pubs and other liquor outlets to remain closed.
Patrons, many of whom were women, were arrested at the establishment. Besides breaking the lockdown rules to stay at home, they found themselves in trouble for being in possession of alcohol which Cele banned from being sold or consumed in public places during this time.
Reporter Alex Patrick said that in Alexandra, “the smell of alcohol in the air was palpable”.
SABC News filed this video report:
There was also this from AFP:
VIDEO: Lockdown in South Africa.
South Africa came under a nationwide military-patrolled lockdown on Friday, joining other African countries imposing strict curfews and shutdowns in an attempt to halt the spread of the coronavirus across the continent pic.twitter.com/yeZ5DETi0l
— AFP news agency (@AFP) March 27, 2020
If you’re thinking about making a trip to the shops for basic goods, but ramming your boot full of booze, let this be a warning:
On the streets, police also came across a motorist whose boot contained cooler boxes filled with booze.
The motorist looked on as the metro police emptied his alcohol onto the road.
They’re actually empowered to be far harsher than that, so the motorist was lucky.
Please, let’s not give the army and police officers any more headaches and stress than necessary, and let’s also not give them any chance to flex their muscle.
Not to be a downer, as South Africa remains appreciative of President Ramaphosa’s early call for a lockdown (especially when compared to other countries and their bumbling leaders), but now comes the hard part of actually making this logistical nightmare function.
That can only happen with the support of the public, so stick to the rules and be mindful of the fact that your compliance could save countless lives down the line.
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