More than 740 people were arrested in Gauteng during the first weekend under Level 2 of the coronavirus lockdown, including two police officers, for a number of crimes, notably driving under the influence of alcohol.
Government lifted the ban on the sale of alcohol last Monday as the country moved to Level 2.
According to police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters, the South African Police Service (SAPS), together with other law enforcement agencies in Gauteng, continued with operations aimed at ensuring adherence to the Covid-19 regulations across all districts in the province over the first weekend of the Covid-19 Level 2 lockdown.
“These operations resulted in the arrest of more than 740 suspects, including two police officers arrested for drinking and driving,” Peters said.
“A 27-year-old constable was arrested in Sedibeng on Saturday night after driving into an accident, injuring a bystander. He was charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol as well as reckless and negligent driving.
“A sergeant was arrested in Norwood, Johannesburg, on Thursday night after his car collided with a [Johannesburg] Metro Police vehicle. The 37-year-old was arrested on the spot and charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol.”
Over and above the criminal charges, the members will face internal disciplinary processes as well, Peters said. The intensified operations saw 283 people arrested in Ekurhuleni, 215 on the West Rand, 173 in Johannesburg, 100 in Tshwane and 70 in Sedibeng.
“These suspects were arrested for contravening the Disaster Management Act and other crimes that include driving while under the influence of alcohol, murder, attempted murder, rape, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, possession of unlicensed firearms, intimidation and possession of drugs.”
Peters said the arrested people would be appearing at various magistrate’s courts across Gauteng from Monday onward.
Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela welcomed the arrests.