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Police Minister General Bheki Cele on the occasion of the announcement of alert level one hosted on 22 September 2020 at the GCIS in Pretoria
22 September 2020

National Commissioner of the SAPS Gen Sitole
Deputy National Commissioners;
SAPS members present
Members of the Media present and those joining us on line
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Sanibonani, Afternoon to you All.
South Africa is turning the corner against the COVID-19 virus.
This is demonstrated by the fact that the country now enjoys the lowest alert level of the National Lockdown.
However, while we are not where we were some months back, we are certainly not out of the woods as yet. This is the call by health experts that MUST to be taken seriously by all of us.
We are aware that as the days get warmer and the restrictions are more relaxed, law enforcement will have to work harder to ensure they bring an end to any behavior that threatens the containment of this virus.
COVID-19 has been hard on the SAPS, infecting 16539 officers.
The virus has claimed the lives of 215 men and women in blue.
However, I remain encouraged by the high recovery rate. Over 15 thousand members have won their battle against the virus and are back to serving their communities.
As the South African Police Service, we remain resolute in meeting our Constitutional mandate, which is to maintain law and order whilst ensuring adherence to the Disaster Management Act.
South Africa may be on the lowest alert level of the National Lockdown, BUT law enforcement on the other hand, will remain on the high alert.
Let me take this opportunity to thank the millions of South Africans who have heeded the call to 'Stay Safe' and continue to wear their face masks, wash their hands and maintain social distance.


Police will continue to enforce the curfew, which starts from midnight until 04:00.
The sale of liquor is permitted from 9:00 to 17:00 during the week.
No alcohol can be sold for off-site consumption over the weekend or during public holidays.
Alcohol can be sold and consumed at licensed premises only, but not before 9:00 and not after midnight. Equally, alcohol cannot be sold as takeaways, it must be consumed on the premises where it was bought. It’s that simple.


Ladies and gentlemen, let me pause here for a moment.
I want to express my shock and disgust about the blatant disregard of the health of our people by some liquor outlet owners. I am talking about businesses that choose to flout the rules in the name of profit.
This past weekend I joined police operations checking on compliance in Ekurhuleni in the Gauteng province.
During the multi-disciplinary operations between SAPS, SANDF and provincial traffic law enforcements, we came across several shebeens and taverns operating way past the stipulated 10 pm curfew; under alert level 2.
More disturbing, was the practice of some liquor outlets squeezing patriots inside their venues with shut windows and doors.
This is done to look as if the business is closed for the night, meanwhile drinking and socializing in the confined space is on going until the early hours of the morning.
Establishments in other parts of the country are undertaking this illegal practice that is putting money before peoples health.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I also know that it is not only taverns that are breaking the rules, some restaurants and eateries are also flouting the rules putting their customers at risk of infections.
I want to remind all the business owners who insist on flouting the rules - the long arm of the law will catch up with you and you WILL also lose your operating license.


Ladies and Gentlemen,
From the start of Lockdown in March to date, 310 494 people have been arrested and charged with contraventions of the Disaster Management Act.
These violations range from liquor, transport and business and cross border related offences.
The Western Cape recorded the most arrests with 72 137 followed by Gauteng Province with 59 thousand arrests.
The public is reminded that while the social gatherings including concerts, live performances are permitted. Nightclubs still have to shut their doors.
No more than 100 mourners can attend a funeral.
Night vigils are still not permitted.
On another note, communities are urged to be considerate when hosting social gatherings in residential areas. There are many complaints received of noisy and disruptive behavior at people's homes.
This virus is still very much with us and despite further lifting of restrictions, people need to take responsibility for their own lives and that of their loved ones.


Members of the Media,
If we all play our part, the country will certainly combat the corona virus pandemic. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the second pandemic that is at crisis levels in this country.
Gender based Violence is a societal evil that MUST be contained at all costs.
Following the honourable President Cyril Ramaphosa’s pronouncements around GBV still rife under Lockdown.
The work of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on GBV continues.
As a member of this IMC, I have addressed this topic several times highlighting the work we are doing as the SAPS to combat this scourge.
I have also spoken at length of measures we as the SAPS are putting in place to professionalize the service rendered to victims of GBV.
In our efforts to drill down to community and district level in our response to GBV, Government has pinned down 30 GBV hotspots.
The list was compiled based on nine key variables, including the number of cases reported to the SAPS during the 2019/2020 financial year.
These cases include:
Human Trafficking for sexual offenses
Kidnapping for sexual offense; domestic related and human trafficking.

Figures of reported domestic violence related cases of Murder, Rape Attempted murder and Assault GBH were also considered when compiling this list.

The hotspots list also includes eight other variables such as calls related to Domestic Violence and Gender based Violence received.
Data was also included from victim support services, such as Thuthuzela Centers, health facilities and other data from other departments that paint a picture of GBV in a particular area.v The Inter-Ministerial Committee on GBV will elaborate further on these hotspots compiled by various departments.
For the purpose of today’s briefing I would like to expand of the interventions that the SAPS will undertake in these identified areas.
As part of the SAPS’s Integrated Sexual offences and GBV action plan, there are pro-active measures with short, medium to long-term timeframes.
GBV remains a priority crime for the SAPS.
As a prevention measure, the SAPS will also continue to have a sustained public awareness and community-based campaigns at the identified areas on GBV.
All police stations in those identified areas are expected to have a permanent desk dedicated to GBV.
This will go a long way in ensuring victims of gender crimes are responded to by trained officers in a professional way.
The dedicated desk will reduce the risk of ill treatment at the hands of officers, as we have seen in some instances.
These permanent desks should not be limited to the hot spots areas only but should be a norm at all stations.
We are also forging ahead with our plans of ensuring that Victim friendly rooms meet all requirements and are available at all police stations.
Police stations should have access to DNA collection kits at all times in the identified areas and beyond.
A medium to long-term goal is the addressing of the GBV case backlog as well as re-looking at cold cases. The capacitating of the FCS specialized unit that handles all GBV and Femicide cases is on going and so is the training of members.
While we know police alone will not rid the country of this evil, we as the SAPS will continue to strengthen our response to the GBV, The approach must promote accountability and ensure that all victims and survivors of GBV have access to justice.
In closing, Ladies and Gentlemen, of course we are aware that the identification of these hotspots does not mean that GBV is limited only in these areas.
This is why provinces are strongly encouraged to look at their own localized hotspots and ensure victim centered service delivery in all corners of the country.
I thank you.

1. Delft 16. Dobsonville
2. Mamelodi East 17. Bloemspruit
3. Tembisa 18. Diepsloot
4. Umlazi 19. Mitchells Plain
5. Empangeni 20. Ikageng
6. Nyanga 21.Osizweni
7. Inanda 22. Kwa Mashu
8. Temba 23. Ntuzuma
9. Khayelitsha 24. Kopanong
10. Kwazakhele 25. Honeydew
11. Alexandra 26. Kraaifontein
12. Moroka 27. Gugulethu
13. Mthatha 28. Orange Farm
14. Mfuleni 29. Butterworth
15. Plessislaer 30. Bellville

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