Ballito beachgoers who broke lockdown regulations 'off the hook after NPA drops case' - AfriForum

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A group of people were arrested for breaking lockdown regulations.
A group of people were arrested for breaking lockdown regulations.
Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

  • The NPA has decided not to prosecute eight Ballito residents who went to the beach during lockdown in May.
  • A video which went viral at the time showed how a child was grabbed by two peace officers during the arrests.
  • Afriforum's private prosecutions unit later got involved.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has decided not to prosecute the eight Ballito residents who were arrested in May for violating the Disaster Management Act, as they went to the beach during Level 4 of the lockdown.

This, according to AfriForum’s private prosecution unit who had written representations to the NPA as to why the residents should not prosecuted.

In a statement on Monday, AfriForum said they were informed by the NPA of the decision.

Among those who will no longer be prosecuted is the father whose child was grabbed by two KwaDukuza Municipality peace officers while they were carrying out the arrests.

WATCH: 'I am disturbed' – mayor condemns KZN officers seen pulling child in video

At the time, News24 reported that a video, which went viral on social media, was taken at a complex in the Ballito area, on the north coast of the province.  It showed the scuffle between the officers and others while the child was dragged out of the premises by the arm - while shouting for his father.

The peace officers were previously cleared in an internal investigation in which they were accused of manhandling the child.

It was reported that the child was being handled in terms of the Children's Act and that the child was being taken to safety as the father was being arrested.

Incident

AfriForum’s private prosecution unit got involved following the incident and the subsequent arrest of eight people who were on the beach.

READ | Zikalala orders probe after KZN child seen being pulled by officers during lockdown tussle

"AfriForum welcomes the NPA’s decision to dismiss the complaints, but strongly feels that the complaints against these people should never have been lodged, and also that the law enforcers’ behaviour in this case was arbitrary and unnecessary,” AfriForum campaign manager Natasha Venter said.

She said most members of the public tried to make sense of the regulations that were "frequently changed and were irrational as well.

"To punish these people just because they were walking on the beach and furthermore to burden them with criminal records, would have been preposterous."

News24 has contacted the NPA for comment, which will be added once received.

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