Pretoria – People who own and manage establishments that allow customers to party and disregard lockdown regulations will be charged and held accountable for risky behaviour taking place on their premises.
National SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo also warned people who took off their masks and ignored physical distancing requirements once they started partying.
Naidoo’s warning was in line with remarks made by the general secretary of the South African Council of Churches, Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana, and the president of the Concerned Tshwane Liquor Traders Association, Oupa Mthombeni, who also urged people not to be too excited by the move to lockdown level 1 and forget about the safety protocols.
Naidoo said people needed to remember that the government might have eased the lockdown, but the coronavirus was still a reality and continuing to spread.
“Lockdown level 1 does not mean that people will be allowed to do as they please in secret. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that this virus is prevented from spreading and killing a lot of innocent people. That is why owners and managers and supervisors of businesses who allow people to abandon regulations within their premises will be charged and held accountable,” said Naidoo.
Mpumlwana said people, especially the youth, needed to remember that while they might be strong enough for the virus not to make them fall seriously ill, they could be carriers and pass it on to those who were vulnerable at home, work or school.
“For instance, a young man who is very healthy may go to a club, party and touch a lot of people and not even notice he has contracted the virus. It will be his grandmother or grandfather at home who is living with a chronic illness like diabetes who will most likely fall ill because of this virus.
“That is why we call on people to always remember that this virus is going to be with us for a while, at least until a vaccine is found. This then requires us to be responsible all the time. It will require patience and one day we shall return to our normal life.
“At some point TB used to be a killer disease until its remedy was developed. This coronavirus may have a vaccine by the end of 2021. Let’s be responsible in the meantime to avoid a predicted second wave erupting. We certainly don’t want to go back to lockdown level 5.”