Police urge citizens to remain vigilant over upcoming Easter holidays

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KwaZulu-Natal police are urging citizens to remain vigilant over the upcoming Easter holidays after two separate attempted child abduction cases were reported to police in Pietermaritzburg in the past week.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson, Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese is urging women and children to guard against any suspicious activity.

“We have received two complaints of people who attempted to abduct two girls so we need to be proactive. We just want to plead with the members of the community to be vigilant against any possibility of opportunistic human trafficking or abduction.

“If they may report to the police in the event where they observe some strange activities and suspicious activities. We want to warn children in particular that they must refrain from walking in remote areas. They must make sure that they are always under the supervision of the elderly people,” Ngobese explains.

JMPD to increase deployment

The Johannesburg Metro Police department says they will be increasing deployment ahead of Easter weekend. Holidaymakers are expected to travel to various destinations.

The government has warned that people must obey COVID 19 protocols – including the wearing of masks, regular sanitising and social distancing during the holidays.

Metro Police in Johannesburg are advising motorists to adhere to the rules of the road. Spokesperson, Xolani Fihla says, “We will prioritise road safety knowing that during this period a lot of road users will be travelling to various destinations around the country. Either for holidays, going back home and for religious purposes. Officers will patrol main routes and freeways which include the N1, N3 and N12. Officers will be conducting crime prevention and drunk and driving roadblocks. And they would be also enforcing the disaster management regulations.”

‘Harsher lockdown’

The Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen has warned the African National Congress-led government not to implement any harsher lockdown levels or ban alcohol sales and introduce curfews.

Steenhuisen says he has information that President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation on Monday and there is an expectation of a higher lockdown for the Easter long weekend.

The African Christian Democratic Party leader Kenneth Moshoe also believes that there’s no reason for the government to impose harder lockdown restrictions as infections are still low.

But Congress of the People’s national spokesperson Dennis Bloem says if the advice from scientists and professionals is that the country must move to a higher lockdown level, that must be respected.

Third wave fears 

On Wednesday the National Institute of Communicable Disease (NICD) also warned that mass gatherings and social events over the Easter holidays are likely to cause a surge in COVID-19 cases, which may trigger the third wave.

Calls for strict precautionary measures over the Easter weekend: Prof Alex van den Heever:  

Many South Africans have abandoned non-pharmaceutical interventions to prevent contracting COVID-19. Some have chosen to stop wearing masks at large family gatherings.  This comes as South Africa is falling behind on its vaccination targets.

Lockdown level one has left many South Africans with a sense of freedom from the COVID-19 restrictions.