- Police Minister Bheki Cele has warned the Western Cape about lifting the ban on cigarette sales
- Cele urged businesses in the province not to listen to people who "tell them wrong things"
- The minister has pointed out that selling cigarettes during the lockdown is not in the national regulations
The uncompromising Police Minister Bheki Cele has pulled out the cigarettes from the Western Cape's smokers' mouths.
Cele said that cigarette sales were still not allowed in the whole country amid the three-week national lockdown.
He was speaking at an inter-ministerial briefing on Thursday evening.
His comments come after the Western Cape lifted the ban on the sale of the cigarettes on Wednesday.
News24 reports that Cele pointed out that regulations under the lockdown were applicable countrywide.
"We urge businesses in the Western Cape not to listen to people who tell them wrong things. If it is not in the national regulations, it is not allowed to happen."
Cele added that the police, as custodians of the law, would enforce the national lockdown regulations, reports News24.
"It doesn't matter where you are, cigarette sales are not allowed. That includes the Western Cape," he said.
Briefly.co.za has reported that provincial MEC for Finance and Economic Opportunities David Maynier said:
"Cigarettes may be sold during the lockdown, but only together with essential goods."
Maynier said he was providing further clarity on essential services selling essential goods after realising that there had been a confusion about which stores were to remain open to provide essential goods.
Police have arrested 2 289 people since the start of the lockdown for violating regulations.
"Don't give us a reason to arrest you."
Cele further said there were 24 389 law enforcement officers on the street to enforce the three-week lockdown regulations.
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has revealed that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases now stands at 1 462.
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