Media release

Call for continued respect of the rule of law during COVID-19 lockdown period

05 April 2020

5 April 2020

As the country entered into the second week of the lockdown, the National Joint Operational And Intelligence Structure (NatJOINTS)  is calling on communities and various organisations to refrain from taking the law into their own hands to enforce 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, public health infection containment, etc,.

So far the greater majority of the nation has been very co-operative in adhering to the Disaster Management Regulations. However, the call for greater adherence to the Regulations comes following the continuous non-adherence to these Regulations by certain individuals. This 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.

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.

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 Coronavirus is contained.

SAPS members are not only involved with enforcement of the Disaster Management Regulations but they still 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 Coronavirus amongst our communities. Police officers are also deployed to assist in securing the identified quarantine and isolation sites.

In Mpumalanga as well as Gauteng during this past week, a group or people stormed a local supermarket and disrupted services demanding that the store manager furnishes all employees with gloves and masks. 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.

We urge all citizens of the republic 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.

Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo
Cell: 082 567 4153

Issued by the GCIS on behalf of the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJOINTS)

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