Sunday, January 23, 2022

South Africa’s covid-19 lockdown turns deadly with 3 deaths

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.
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South Africa’s enforcement of a lockdown has turned bloody less than a week into the restriction period to fight the coronavirus.

The country has five reported deaths as at March 30, 2020 from the virus but deaths from the enforcement of a lockdown to keep people safe has hit three already within days.

Those who died from the violence died after alleged interactions with security officers.

One person died in Gauteng, while two were killed in the Western Cape, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) said in a statement on Monday.

Local media reported that in the first incident, a man was gunned down in his home after allegedly being followed by police.

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Reports said officers had noticed people drinking liquor outside and tried to make arrests. When they were allegedly attacked by residents police discharged rubber bullets.

A police officer and a security guard are appearing in court over this killing and now face murder and police brutality charges.

In the second incident, a man was also allegedly beaten with a hammer and tasered by police in Cape Town after being caught on a beer run.

Killings condemned

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Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has already condemned the killings and called on the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to desist from using excessive force against citizens.

Police spokesperson Vish Naidoo said “We have impressed upon our members on the ground to act within the confines of the law when enforcing the Disaster Management Act Regulations”.

He adds that “The regulations clearly outlines the actions security forces may enforce/impose on alleged transgressors. The depiction in the circulating videos is definitely not one of those actions.”

Meanwhile President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday said law enforcement agencies are to “support, reassure and comfort our people”.

“They know that they must act within the law at all times and that they must not cause harm to any of our people,” the president said.

The Independent Police Directorate (IPID) is investigating more than 20 cases against the police and the army.

South Africa has recorded more than 1,300 confirmed cases of Covid-19. A lockdown was announced to help reduce the spread of the virus.


World Health Organization declares Coronavirus a pandemic



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