On day four of the 21-day national lockdown, some South Africans are still not adhering to the strict laws put in place to try and slow the spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19.
Then again, South Africa is, by many measures, the most unequal society in the world, and a ‘one size fits all’ approach to enforcing a lockdown was always going to prove difficult.
Social media has been full of silly, funny, and quirky videos of South Africans entertaining themselves, but there has also been widespread coverage of places like Alexandra, a township in Johannesburg, and how the rules are being flouted.
The Citizen shared these two videos, uploaded to Twitter yesterday:
— Black Barbie 👑💫 (@jordanzanele1) March 29, 2020
ama push ups wase Soweto 🔞 pic.twitter.com/uQCT7R0D5n
— S H E Z I (@ProsperShezi) March 29, 2020
Given how many joggers we have seen in the ‘burbs, I can think of a few South Africans who might welcome the chance to exercise outside of their own homes.
On a more serious note, this really doesn’t sit well with me. If this lockdown is to be a success, we need everyone to buy into the notion that it’s for the benefit of the entire country. All this sort of humiliation does is encourage pushback against police and the army, and sows division about how certain areas are treated differently to others.
DA interim leader John Steenhuisen agrees:
I reckon wannabe gangster Bheki Cele, our Minister of Police (and also the man with the worst hat collection in the country) thinks it’s a hoot, but he would love nothing more than martial law and free reign to do as he pleases.
More from Steenhuisen and the DA:
“Already this week there have been numerous reports of brutality at the hands of SANDF soldiers deployed across South Africa, with more worrying accounts including allegations of soldiers opening fire on residents, and employing unnecessarily authoritarian and zealous violence and language.”
The party called this behaviour “absolutely unacceptable and deeply worrying” as it showed a government in contempt of the civil liberties afforded to all South Africans in a free and democratic state.
“These are unprecedented times and we need to look at extraordinary measures to ensure that we not only combat Covid-19 and the spread thereof in South Africa, but also have extraordinary measures in place to ensure there is consistent and continual accountability for government.”
Constitutional expert Pierre de Vos agreed, saying the punishment handed out was “unlawful and an abuse of power”, and “disciplinary action must be instituted against those involved”.
We all want South Africans to realise that the lockdown rules are there for a reason, and that our actions now will decide what happens weeks and months down the line, but law enforcement humiliating the public is surely not the way to go about ensuring that happens.
[imagesource: Twitter / @JJSubroyen] Part of the Engen oil refinery in Wentworth, south...
[imagesource:here] As President Ramaphosa pointed out in last night's 'family meeting',...
It's tough to know who is the weakest cog in the Trump campaign's efforts to overturn the ...
[imagesource:here] According to Urban Dictionary, many pastimes and beverages have a si...
Motorists on the N2 on Tuesday morning at around 7:30AM were shocked to see a brazen assau...