Following a post widely circulated on social media on Tuesday in which residents claimed to have been arrested for fetching water during lockdown, the police said on Wednesday the arrests were made after police witnessed suspicious activities and found drugs in the possession of one of the suspects.

According to national police spokesperson, Brigadier Vish Naidoo, eight people in two vehicles, a bakkie and Mercedes, have been spotted in the Brits area for a few days. “The occupants were warned verbally to abide by the lockdown regulations on Sunday, 19 April 2020, as they were driving and walking around with no permit or proper explanation,” he said.

“On Monday, police members were on duty patrolling the area. The two vehicles were again seen and the occupants of the two vehicles stopped. Two persons got out of the vehicles and went into the bushes. After this suspicious activity, police stopped the two vehicles and found drugs (allegedly tik) in the possession of one of the suspects inside the Mercedes. The suspect (34) was arrested for being in possession of drugs. The other seven occupants (aged between 34 and 44) of the two vehicles were arrested for failure by a person to be confined to his residence during lockdown under the Disaster Management Act of 2020.”

The seven were fined R1 000 each. Empty water bottles were found inside the bakkie.

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