Civil disobedience forms part of the DNA of South African citizens. That is how the struggle of our democracy started.
We have now come to a point where we will have to change our attitude in this regard. The National Disaster and the Regulations imposed through two Government Notices is not there to punish us but to try and protect us. It is therefore very important that we see the lockdown as something that is done to protect lives and not punish us.
Regulation 11(B) of the lockdown regulations determine that “for the period of the lockdown every person is confined to his or her place of residence, unless strictly for the purpose of performing an essential service obtaining essential goods or service, collecting a social grant or seeking emergency, life-saving or chronic medical attention.”
It was made very clear by the Minister of police that you will not be able to move around for exercise or to walk your dog. You will have to be in your property.
As mentioned yesterday, writer hereof is of the opinion that a practical arrangement can be made in order to ensure that minor children, in terms of court orders, are allowed to be alternated between visiting their parents through practical arrangements herein, taking into consideration the aim of the lock down.
CRIMINAL OFFENCE – MOVEMENT
It is an offence if you contravene the following lock down regulations:
- every person is confined to his or her place of residence, unless strictly for the purpose of performing an essential service, obtaining an essential good or service, collecting of social grant, or seeking emergency, life-saving, or chronic medical attention; and
- every gathering is prohibited, except for a funeral; and
- movement between provinces is prohibited; and
- movement between the metropolitan and district areas, is prohibited
- all businesses and other entities shall cease operations during the lockdown, save for any business or entity involved in the manufacturing, supply, or provision of an essential good or service
- retail shops and shopping malls must be closed, except where essential goods are sold and on condition that the person in control of the said store must put in place controls to ensure that customers keep a distance of at least one square meter from each other, and that all directions in respect of hygienic conditions and the exposure of persons to COVID-19 are adhered to
- retail stores selling essential goods is prohibited from selling any other goods
- any place not involved in the provision of an essential good or service mustremain closed to all persons for the duration of the lockdown
- all places or premises such as public parks, beaches, swimming pools, flea markets, open air food markets, fêtes and bazaars, nightclubs, casinos, hotels and guest houses, private and public game reserves, holiday resorts, on- consumption premises (taverns, shebeens, bars), off-consumption premises (bottle stores, off-consumption areas in supermarkets (where liquor is sold),
- theatres and cinemas, shopping malls and shopping centres (excluding grocery stores and pharmacies), taxi ranks, bus depots, train stations and airports must be closed to the public except to those persons rendering security and maintenance services at those places or premises.
CRIMINAL OFFENCE – VIRUS
When it comes to criminal offences regarding the virus itself, any person who has been confirmed as a clinical case (which means a person that presents with the clinical signs and symptoms of the Corona virus), or as having contracted COVID-19 or who is suspected of having contracted COVID-19, or who has been in contact with a person who is a carrier of COVID-19, may not refuse consent to be submitted to a medical examination which includes the taking of any bodily sample by a person authorised to do so.
Furthermore, you are not entitled to refuse to be permitted to a health establishment or quarantine or at isolation site.
If you do not comply with an instruction that includes examination, admission to a facility or treatment, you must be placed in isolation for a period of 48 hours pending a warrant been issued by a competent Court on application by an enforcement officer to do so.
In plain English, you will be detained at a place for 48 hours in order for a warrant to be issued by Court to force you to be examined.
Save for the above mentioned offences, any person who intentionally misrepresent that he or she or any other person is infected with COVID-19 is guilty of an offence and on conviction liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 6 (six) months.
If is important to remember that if you post and/or publish any statement through any medium, including social media with the intention to deceive any other person about COVID-19, the COVID-19 infection status of any person or any measure taken by the Government to address COVID-19, that you commit an offence and that you are also liable on conviction to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 6 (six) months or both.
And lastly, any person who intentionally exposes another person to COVID-19 may be prosecuted for an offence, including assault, attempted murder or murder.
If you uncertain about your rights and responsibilities these Regulations that was issued by Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on the 17th of March 2020 and published on the 18th of March 2020, and the amended regulations of the 25th of March 2020 these documents are available on the Government website for your perusal. Visit www.sacoronavirus.co.za or www.cogta.gov.za to obtain all further information.
If you have any uncertainty in this regard, you are more than welcome to contact our offices on our emergency number.