A Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) officer has been arrested for alleged drunken driving.
This arrest and many others were made on Johannesburg’s M1 highway as police conducted New Year’s eve search and seizure operations across the province.
Motorists have been arrested for offences including drunken driving, being in possession of drugs or stolen vehicles.
MEC for Community Safety Faith Mazibuko who was part of last night’s operations says increased police personnel have been deployed around Gauteng.
“Don’t take chances on our roads because all these roadblocks across the province – they are doing stop and searches. On the roadblocks, that’s where we find stolen cars and drunken drivers. People think it’s New Year’s Eve and police are relaxing – they are not, not in Gauteng.”
“The President [Cyril Ramaphosa] has opened [lifted the curfew] to say, people must be merry – we wish to urge them, be merry but be safe. Drug dealers and drug peddlers are going to be removed,” says Mazibuko.
The video below is reporting on police stop and search operation on the M1 in Johannesburg:
Meanwhile, residents in the Eastern Cape took advantage of the lifting of the curfew to usher in the new year.
But the celebrations were not as lavish or exuberant as pre-pandemic years as there were no official New Year’s parties in the province’s two metro’s.
People gathered at the usual hotspots to enjoy the company of family and friends but they were acutely aware of the struggles that the pandemic brought.
In East London, the revellers were already looking towards 2022.
“It is so funny compared to last year as people are behaving as far as I can see. We have a new year’s resolution, I want to see the economy [growing].”
“It is very good. We can spend more time with the family and now the economy can open up fully. We can actually create more jobs for the people who were struggling under the curfew and the coronavirus pandemic,” adds one reveller.