- President Cyril Ramaphosa has issued a warning to criminals who think they can take advantage of the current situation
- While the majority of citizens heed the lockdown regulations, some believe they are above the law
- Ramaphosa says the long arm of the law will be catching up with offenders
President Cyril Ramaphosa's letter to the nation amid an extended lockdown was addressed to those involved in criminal activities.
Ramaphosa made it clear that there would be no mercy for those who attempt to try their luck:
"I have a message for those callous criminals who think they can take advantage. The criminal justice system is not on leave. You will be arrested, you will be tried and you will be put behind bars."
The president said that while most citizens were playing their part in the effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, criminals were seeking to exploit this crisis.
Noting the schools that have been burgled, trashed or burnt, power cables being stolen from Eskom and other damages done to infrastructure, the president commented:
"That public property is being vandalised while the entire country is experiencing hardship because of the lockdown, is a demonstration of utter disrespect and disregard for the majority of South Africans who are law-abiding."
Ramaphosa also commented on the crisis facing the vulnerable during this time of hardship:
"We are aware that the restrictions that have been placed on people’s movement and the confinement to their homes is a frustration for many. But there is no excuse, nor will there ever be any excuse, for violence – against women, children, the elderly, members of the LGBTQI+ community, foreign nationals, not against anyone."
Citizens were called upon to play an active role in the continued battle against our invisible enemy:
"I call on the men of South Africa and all citizens to play their part to combat gender-based violence and to provide survivors with the necessary support and assistance. This time of difficulty does not diminish the responsibility of every citizen to respect the rights and dignity of others. Some have called for a gender-based violence ‘ceasefire’ during the time of pandemic. This is not enough. We want to see it end, once and for all."
Briefly.co.za reported that the number of confirmed cases increased by 145 to 2 173 on Monday.
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