South Africa: Getting Arrested During Lockdown Is Easier Than You Think


The clampdown on lockdown is strict. But what happens when you run out of groceries or need to make an urgent trip to the pharmacy? The rules say in that case, you're allowed to leave the house, but the experience of a Mitchells Plain resident shows you might just end up in jail.

Ebrahim Hartley was on his way to buy electricity at his local spaza shop on Saturday when he was arrested, for being in public during the lockdown.

Speaking on Hartley's behalf, his wife, Rushaan Basardien-Hartley, said the incident happened just outside their home at one o'clock in the afternoon, and her husband - a diabetic - was only released from police custody just before midnight.

He had allegedly tried to explain to police his reasons for leaving his home and had proof in the form of his ID, some cash and a slip with the electricity meter number.

A panic-stricken Basardien-Hartley tried to contact the Mitchells Plain police station, but was sent in circles before she received word that her husband was in the holding cells and would apparently only be released after the 21-day lockdown had transpired.

Luckily, this wasn't the case, but Hartley was issued...

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