Churches, mosques and temples: Cops ready to deal with law breakers in Gauteng

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(Roger Sedres/Gallo Images via Getty Images)
(Roger Sedres/Gallo Images via Getty Images)
  • The government has unbanned gatherings at places of worship under strict conditions during Level 3 lockdown.
  • The police have called on people going to churches, mosques and temples to adhere to lockdown regulations.
  • Metro police reinforcements will be called in from Tshwane, Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg to assist the police if there are disruptions next week.

Gauteng police are ready to deal with any contraventions of lockdown regulations when religious activities at places of worship resume next week.

People are allowed to gather at churches, temples, mosques and other locations to worship, with limits of no more than 50 people at one time and physical distancing of at least 1.5m.

READ | Restaurants question why they must remain shut but places of worship can open

Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela said the police would do everything in their power to ensure people complied with the law.

"It is not going to be possible for us to police every church. We are calling on all churchgoers to abide with the law. They must make things easy for us.

"We don't want people committing civil disobedience. We are currently dealing with human lives and the coronavirus doesn't care whether you a churchgoer or not. If you decide to disregard the regulations then you put more lives in danger.

Assist

"We call on all law-abiding citizens of Gauteng to assist us by respecting the laws of the land so that we can focus on those who make it their business to defy government. It is not going to be easy, but we will do our best," said Mawela.

He added he hoped religious leaders would abide with the regulations as they had promised to do so.

"We are not going to slow down and we will continue intensifying our operations so that Gauteng residents can feel free in their province.

READ | Alcohol will be sold again from 1 June - here is all you need to know

"We are policing over 15 million people in this province. The kind of resources that we have will never be enough to cover all the ground, but we will all our best with what we have," said Mawela.

He also called on anyone planning on disrupting schooling from Monday to refrain from doing so and to allow children to return to school.

Meanwhile, Gauteng Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko said the authorities would not tolerate any misbehaviour when schools and churches reopen.

She added should the police not have enough personnel, reinforcements from the metro police in Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni would be brought in to ensure people complied with the law. 

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