SANDF accused of ‘unlawfully arresting’ people without masks.

Both SANDF soldiers and SAPS officers have been accused of ‘going overboard’ this week, after mass arrests of non-mask-wearers were made in Limpopo.

Members of the Modimolle community in Limpopo have been told to come forward and report any acts of ‘brutality’ that took place this week. SANDF soldiers have been accused of ‘unlawfully detaining’ citizens for their failure to wear a mask in public. Although this can be perceived as an arrestable offence, it’s the manner of apprehension that has riled the DA.

Jacques Smalle, DA’s provincial leader, recently shared photos of the SANDF patrol ‘descending upon Modimolle’ alongside SAPS officers. Businesses were allegedly raided, and several people are believed to have been man-handled. Acts of police brutality were heavily scrutinised during the lockdowns of 2020. But it was the conduct of SANDF that spent the longest time under the microscope, after Collins Khoza was killed following a confrontation in his home with a group of soldiers.

“Scores of SAPS members and members of SANDF filled the streets of Modimolle and arrested unsuspecting persons on the pavements who were not wearing masks or were wearing masks incorrectly. Businesses were entered and employees who were not wearing masks were arrested and taken to the police station to be processed,” Smalle said in a statement.

“We have it on good authority that some people were treated with unnecessary force and were hauled off to the police station without observing protocols. The same vehicles were used more than once to transport persons to the police station without being sanitised between trips. The unlawful arrest of civilians in a rough and ready manner should not be allowed,” he added.



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