Police Minister Bheki Cele has highlighted an alarming figure of 87,000 gender-based violence cases reported during the nationwide lockdown.
Speaking at the National Coronavirus Command Council on Thursday tabling that police have arrested over 17,000 people since the beginning of the lockdown, Cele highlighted the concerning issue of domestic violence.
Although he couldn’t confirm the rate of arrests, in relation to the reported cases, he did confirm that the figure of gender-based violence cases included a police officer who was arrested for allegedly raping his wife.
“87,000 people have phoned in reporting that there might be gender-based violence in their houses.”
While the country paddles into day 8 of the lockdown, Cele warned that a fleet of officers on patrol and were ready to make arrests, should the need arise.
The police minister had earlier announced that about 2,298 had been arrested, but he had only been mentioning the arrests on one day, 30 March.
About 17,209 arrests have been made since the lockdown, with most arrests made in the Western Cape.
Most of the arrests were made in the Western Cape, which saw 4,769 being nabbed.
The others were 3,098 in the Free State, 832 in the Northern Cape, 1,845 in KwaZulu-Natal, 1,888 in Gauteng, 1,613 in the Eastern Cape, 1,562 in North West, 752 in Mpumalanga and 850 in Limpopo.
He warned the provincial government to refrain from relaxing lockdown regulations without the approval of national government.
This was after news emerged that the Western Cape had lifted the ban on the sale of cigarettes.
“The regulations are signed by Minister of Cogta [Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma]. There are no provincial regulations. What is done in Limpopo is expected to be done in Western Cape.
“Businesses shouldn’t complain when police implement national regulations. They shouldn’t make noise when police pounce.”