No serious crimes during lockdown

Shoppers queuing at Pick n Pay.

No serious crimes have been reported in the far south during the lockdown, police have said.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the nationwide lockdown, from midnight on Thursday March 26 to midnight on Thursday April 16, to help curb the spread of Covid-19 across the country.

While there were reports of public violence and looting across other parts of the Western Cape on the first day of lockdown, Friday March 27, there was none in the far south.

According to Fish Hoek police spokesman, Warrant Officer Peter Middelton, among the eight cases reported since the start of the lockdown, a man was arrested on Saturday March 28 for having no valid reason to be out during the lockdown and alcohol was found in his vehicle. When questioned he became aggressive and resisted arrest. There were also two cases of burglary, with 12 bottles of wine stolen from one of the premises.

Warrant Officer Middelton said crime was down and he suspected it was because people were in isolation.

Simon’s Town police spokeswoman, Captain Teresa Nel, said except for a housebreaking no serious crimes were reported in the Simon’s Town area.

One suspect had been arrested in an abalone-related case.

Ocean View police spokesman, Sergeant Leon Fortuin, said crime was also down in the precinct with only a housebreaking and two thefts from vehicles to report.

Muizenberg police spokesman, Captain Stephen Knapp, said no major crimes had been reported in the precinct since lockdown.

On Friday, streets in the far south were eerily deserted, a stark contrast from the previous day, when long queues could be seen at supermarkets, petrol stations, banks and other retail outlets for last-minute shopping.

Shoprite Checkers only allowed a few customers in at a time, causing a long queue to snake around the building to Main Road.

Banks did the same, and a long queue could be seen outside Nedbank on Fish Hoek Main Road.

Pick n Pay in The Arcade had long queues inside the supermarket and a long queue at the bottle store as a limited number of customers were let in at a time.

Cars queued at the BP garage on the Main Road and customers craving fried chicken queued outside KFC before the lockdown closed all fast-food outlets.

And as day one of lockdown dawned, the country woke to the news of South Africa’s first Covid-19 related death – a 48-year-old woman from Durbanville. Since then, there have been four more deaths, a 74-year-old man from Ladysmith on Sunday March 29 an elderly pastor from Bloemfonte in the Free
State, a 79-year-old man from Gauteng and a 48-year-old woman from KZN on Monday March 30.

While there was some movement on Fish Hoek Main Road on Friday, the streets were mostly deserted. Kommetjie Road was empty and not a car was in sight at the Kommetjie Road four-way-stop.

While there was still a bustle in Masiphumelele, it was less than usual with some residents walking in groups and gathering
at the Foodzone. And the entrance to
Ocean View was empty apart from a few vehicles.