More than 10,000 arrested in KZN for not wearing face masks

Nivashni Nair Senior reporter
Police arrested 14,653 people during multi-disciplinary operations across KwaZulu-Natal for not complying with lockdown regulations. Stock photo.
Police arrested 14,653 people during multi-disciplinary operations across KwaZulu-Natal for not complying with lockdown regulations. Stock photo.
Image: SUHAIB SALEM

More than 10,000 people have been arrested since December for not wearing face masks in KwaZulu-Natal.

Provincial police spokesperson Brig Jay Naicker on Monday said the police and security forces arrested 14,653 people during multi-disciplinary operations across the province.

“Because of operations carried out from December 29 until February 21, 14,653 individuals were arrested for contraventions of level 3 lockdown regulations in the province. During the same period, 10,701 people were arrested in public spaces for not wearing a mask.

“Police arrested 2,884 people who have failed to comply with the curfew set out in the regulations. Operations also netted 741 people who were found to be transporting, selling or consuming liquor in a public space in contravention of the regulations,” he said.

He said authorities were especially concerned by the high number of people who were arrested on a daily basis for not wearing a mask in public spaces.

“We are appealing to people to maintain social distancing. This does not seem to be happening as hordes of people are observed congregating at shopping malls and other public spaces on a daily basis,” Naicker said.

Acting provincial commissioner Maj-Gen Thulani Gonya urged police officers to continue to clampdown on those who did not comply with the adjusted alert level 3 lockdown regulations.

“We will continue to do our part to ensure citizens in the province comply with the regulations to stem the spread of the Covid-19. We are urging citizens to comply with the regulations to avoid being exposed to coronavirus,” he said.

“People are also advised to avoid going to shopping malls and other crowded spaces unnecessarily.”

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