Coronavirus: Respect Rule of Law, Urges Authorities

Metro police. Image source: GCIS

As the country enters the second week of the 21-day lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, law enforcement agencies have called on communities and various organisations to refrain from taking the law into their own hands to enforce the Disaster Management Regulations.

The NatJOINTS, which comprises of various government departments, is responsible for the coordination of the COVID-19 operations, including high density policing operations, border control, route security and public health infection containment, among others, said the majority of the nation has been adhering to the lockdown regulations.

“However, the call for greater adherence to the regulations comes following the continuous non-adherence to these regulations by certain individuals,” the NatJOINTS said in a statement.

This comes after taxi operators in the Eastern Cape tried to stop motor vehicles transporting essential service workers to work. This practice must cease immediately as no one may take the law into their own hands, said the NatJOINTS.

“We call upon civilians to adhere to the regulations and not attempt to enforce the lockdown regulations on their own as citizens are required to remain in the confines of their own homes during this period and by not doing so will themselves be breaking the law.”

The NatJOINTS said essential service workers are risking their lives to ensure all people in South Africa continue to receive essential services as well as to ensure that the COVID-19 is contained.

Police are not only involved with enforcement of the Disaster Management Regulations but continue to perform their Constitutional obligations to ensure that all South Africans are and feel safe.

“Further to this, the security forces are involved in ensuring safe and conducive areas for the thousands of field workers who will conduct screening and testing for the Covid-19 amongst our communities. Police officers are also deployed to assist in securing the identified quarantine and isolation sites,” said NatJOINTS spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo.

Last week, groups stormed a local supermarket and disrupted services demanding that the store manager furnishes all employees with gloves and masks in Mpumalanga and Gauteng.

By the time police arrived on the scene in Mpumalanga, the group had already left. However, one person was arrested for the incident in Gauteng.

“The South African Police Service will continue to act on all complaints received as no one has a special provision to act in a manner that is contrary to the regulations governing the lockdown period,” said Naidoo.

The NatJOINTS urged citizens to stay at home and only go out when it is absolutely necessary such as getting essential supplies, seeking medical assistance and collecting social grants.

“The NatJOINTS calls upon everyone who may have complaints or information relating to non-adherence of the Disaster Management Regulations to get in touch with law enforcement officials by contacting the SAPS Crime Stop number 086 00 10111 or submitting tip-offs anonymously on the MySAPSApp which is available for download on all androids or iPhones,” read the statement. –



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