Police Minister Bheki Cele has revealed in a parliament Q&A session that more than 270,000 people have been arrested for contravening South Africa’s lockdown regulations.
The statistics cited by Cele showed that 276,607 people were arrested for breaking lockdown rules from the declaration of the national state of disaster until 19 June.
Of those arrested, 22,815 people have paid admission of guilt fines, Cele said.
Cele noted that there were a number of common offences prevalent across all provinces during the various lockdown phases, most of which were related to people leaving their homes or engaging in public gatherings.
The most common offences during the various lockdown levels are reflected in the table below:
|Lockdown rules most commonly broken by South Africans|
Paying admission of guilt fines
The option to pay an admission of guilt fine may be offered to those arrested by the SAPS on suspicion of a less serious crime, allowing the person to admit guilt without having to appear in court.
This prevents the court system from being overloaded, but it is important to note that the fine will appear on the arrestee’s criminal record.
Cele outlined the number of people who had paid admission of guilt fines for lockdown offences in each province, with most of these fines being paid in Limpopo.
|Province||Number of people who paid admission of guilt fines|
Problems in Gauteng
The number of COVID-19 cases in Gauteng continues to rise dramatically, with the local government stressing the importance of citizens complying with lockdown regulations.
The Gauteng provincial health department has addressed the rising number of cases in the province, blaming the increase on the “blatant disregard” of lockdown regulations by the citizenry.
Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku said that the province was in discussions with the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) about how it could more strictly enforce the advanced level 3 lockdown restrictions.
“What we agreed on as the executive council is to see how we are able to apply and enforce the regulations that will help us to reduce the rate of transmission,” he said.
“These regulations are the ones that are already applied but are not being respected by the community.”