The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma has strongly condemned an incident of violence and obstructing police from executing their duties. The incident occurred on Sunday 28 June 2020, when members were arresting a 43-year-old woman for contravening the Disaster Management Regulations by selling Liquor on Sunday.
According to information, police received information about a certain liquor outlet at Weltevrede, near Siyabuswa, selling liquor on a Sunday, disregarding the Lockdown Regulations. Members followed up the information and found that it was business as usual at the said place, with fellows helping themselves with alcohol. Clarity seeking questions were asked from the person at the till but she informed them that, the owner of the business told her to carry on with the trade even on Sunday.
Police then arrested the woman, however, within a minute, members found themselves surrounded by a group of angry patrons who were drinking at the place. They violently drew closer, pushed them and also halted the police van which was reversing to load the liquor that had to be confiscated. These patrons went further and removed the car keys from the police van. When the members realised that they were under attack and that their lives were in danger, they (police) warned the members of the public to move back but this warning was not honoured as they (patrons) drew even much closer and then members were forced, under the circumstances to use rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.
Unfortunately, during this struggle a 03 year old minor as well as another person got shot in the process and cases were opened in that regard. The members allowed calm to prevail and managed to arrest the woman.
Lieutenant General Zuma has called on the public to respect the law enforcement officers and give them space to carry out their duties without any hindrances. “Police are there to enforce the law. People should know that there are laws in this country, which must be adhered to. Failure to do so, unfortunately consequences must follow. We strongly condemn the violent attack on our members whilst they were busy enforcing the law. This is clearly an act of lawlessness and it should never be allowed to prevail in our society, “said General Zuma.
Meanwhile the woman has already paid a fine of R3000 as an admission of guilt. Police have opened cases of common robbery as well as obstructing police from carrying out their duty.
Source: South African Police Service