’Plain Covid-19 infections rise

South African National Defence Force members, the police and emergency medical services ready for any eventuality.

While the latest Covid-19 statistics at the time of printing show that 115 people in Mitchell’s Plain have tested positive for the coronavirus and Lentegeur police station also had to be closed because a member contracted the virus in the past week, many residents are still not adhering to lockdown regulations.

Executive members of community police forums (CPFs) in the area said they witness and field calls day and night of people walking around, visiting, paying exorbitant prices for cigarettes they obtain illicitly and children playing in the streets.

National police spokesperson, Brigadier Novela Potelwa, told the Plainsman Mitchell’s Plain was no different to any other other community in the Western Cape. 

“Overall, the majority of people adhere to the regulations but there are instances where individuals contravene the regulations. In cases of contraventions, the integrated forces comprising SAPS, traffic services, law enforcement and the SA National Defence Force, are on hand with operations and patrols.”

Brigadier Potelwa said they have been channelling information via electronic communication from stations to communities, through existing structures such as CPFs, neighbourhood watches, volunteer groups and community structures, as meetings were prohibited under lockdown.

“Lockdown transgressions differ from time to time. In some weeks the sale of liquor and cigarettes, failure to confine oneself as well as in some instances of public violence were recorded. But those are not the only transgressions,” she said.

Lentegeur police station was due to be opened today, Wednesday April 29, after a staffer tested positive for Covid-19.

The station was closed for 48 hours for decontamination.

The community service centre (charge office) was operating from a mobile parked in front of the station building in the meantime.

Service centre assistance and those to be held in cells were moved to Mitchell’s Plain police station and telephone calls were also diverted there, while the cluster operational room was moved to Strandfontein SAPS.

Lentegeur CPF chairman, Byron de Villiers, said they had the mobile unit at the station and some members were at Mitchell’s Plain and Strandfontein stations.

Calls of complaints and reports of crime can still be made at local police stations during lockdown.