Minister Bheki Cele visited eMbalenhle in the light of the disregard of the lockdown in the township.
1295 People have already been arrested but to no avail… The people of eMbalenhle still continue like it is a normal day.
“I hear them crying that cops and soldiers are brutal. Not listening to us is brutality,” Cele said.
The minister reiterated and emphasised that people should stop asking for 3 hours to be able to buy liquor. He said that the ban of alcohol would not be lifted during the 21-day lockdown.
“I just hope that one day there will be no liquor. I don’t run the country but what has happened when you look at the crime stats, for that fact that shebeens are closed, people are sleeping. They don’t move around here in shebeens and taverns being uncontrollable,” he said.
The minister told the police officers that they must protect the people who do not want to protect themselves.
“It’s our duty. If you don’t want to protect yourself and the rest of us, we must start by protecting you.”
The minister also said that he does not know why some people need to be reprimanded when they are caught outside their homes.
“If you stay in your house you behave,” he said.
Mpumalanga has deployed over 17 000 police officers to enforce the COVID-19 regulations and 11 permanent roadblocks have been set up in the province.
“You are doing a remarkable job,” said Cele, “Rape incidents are down by 1 011 since start of lockdown.”
He also said that the decrease in crime was due to the temporary ban on alcohol.
“We would all like to go back to leading our normal lives, it is up to you to stay at home and prevent the spread of this disease which will determine whether the lockdown is extended or not,” the minister added, “We must cherish this time and take some lessons forward.”