South Africa police Minister Bheki Cele has revealed that that 7 000 South Africans – and counting, have so far been arrested for not wearing masks in public, under Level 3 of the lockdown.

In an interview with eNCA, Cele said the police have been using their powers of enforcement during the festive season, which has paid off.

“Starting from December 27 until January 7, 20 116 people have been arrested. Most of them for liquor offences and the masks. For mask offences, 7 000 people have been arrested,” Cele said.

Cele said, however, that South Africans have realised the importance of wearing masks, not just as an obligation to the level 3 lockdown restrictions, but as a way to counter the spread of COVID-19 and essentially save lives.

“I must say we have found a better compliance when it comes to masks at present.  I think it’s because people are realising that the situation is serious but also because we can now enforce the issue of the masks,”
Cele added that 342,000 people been arrested since the start of lockdown in March 2020.
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