'There is life in Hammanskraal' video man arrested

Image: SUHAIB SALEM

A 36-year-old man has been arrested and kept in police custody for contravention of the COVID-19 disaster management regulations.

The suspect took a video clip featuring himself and a crowd of people in Temba Square, Hammanskraal outside Pretoria. In the 11 second video where he was ridiculing the dangers of Coronavirus, he could be heard saying: “You don’t see anyone wearing masks, those things don’t work. There is life in Hammanskraal, look at how full it is, we have life here we don’t have time for corona.”

Police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said the incident happened on Saturday, the first weekend after President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a state of disaster.

“The suspect and a group of people were returning from a funeral and gathered at Temba square for what is commonly referred to as “After tears.” It was at that illegal gathering of more than 100 people where public consumption of liquor was taking place that the suspect allegedly captured himself on a video which went viral on social media, where he was seen and heard contravening the COVID-19 regulations,” Peters said.

Peters said the suspect might be fined or  spend six months behind bars but that will be determined by the magistrate.

Police minister Beki Cele said this should come as a warning to those who continue to make a mockery of the COVID-19 scourge.

“These people are undermining the efforts of government but they should know that the law will not be kind to their ilk,” Cele said.

Peters also shared that there were 55 people from different provinces who were arrested when the lockdown kick-started.

“There were 20 people arrested in Gauteng, 11 in the North West, 10 in Limpopo, 7 in KwaZulu Natal, 5 in the Free State and two in Western Cape.

“Some of these transgressors blatantly defied the instructions and the lockdown regulations and engaged in activities such as street-bashes while some were sitting in groups drinking when it was emphasised a number of times that selling and movement of liquor during the lockdown will be prohibited.

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