- A clip of a lone surfer getting arrested has had Mzansi buzzing
- With the exception of the Northern Cape, visiting SA beaches is prohibited at the moment
- However, one legal eagle feels that the arrest is unlawful
The South African Police Service has posted a video proving that it is taking the ban on beaches seriously.
The surfer, still dripping from his illicit venture into the waves, is seen being escorted off of the beach in cuffs.
Ministry of Police spokesperson Lirandzu Themba shared the clip, reminding citizens of the ban:
"SA Police Service in Langebaan in the West Coast arrest a surfer on the beach for contravention of the Disaster Management Act. All beaches except those in the Northern Cape remain closed under the adjusted Level 3 Lockdown."
President Cyril Ramaphosa had announced during his last address that beaches, dams, lakes, rivers, public parks and public swimming pools in hotspot areas would be closed from 29 December for a period of two weeks pending a review.
While the restrictions seem pretty clear, many can't resist taking the chance and it seems this surfer's luck ran out.
However, legal eagle Richard Spoor isn't convinced that the arrest was entirely lawful, explaining that:
"In my professional opinion, the arrest is unlawful. Surfing, diving and swimming in the sea are lawful activities, it's only gathering on the beaches that is prohibited."
"If you need to cross the beach to get to the water to carry on your lawful activities, you may do so."
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that a Twitter user, Cy Jacobs, @Cy360NE, posted a pic showing people allegedly being arrested for breaking Covid-19 regulation which has seen beaches across the country being closed.
He questioned if it was really necessary to arrest people trying to enjoy a quiet morning swim. His post generated quite a debate on social media.
He captioned the pics of people being loaded into police cars with:
"Is it really necessary to be arresting people for a quiet early morning swim in the Sea. Taken away, wet and cold."
He couldn't believe how emotional people were getting over the subject:
"Wow, just can’t believe how many comments, an emotive issue. Anyway, the officers have it tough trying to enforce it, it’s not their law, so sympathies to them. The problem is the law just nonsensical, as nothing better than fresh air and sea for Covid and the soul ."
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