Sun. May 31st, 2020

R5k penalties, and a criminal record: First set of ‘lockdown fines’ revealed

Lawmakers in North West are, allegedly, planning to roll out a set of fines and penalties for those who break specific lockdown laws in South Africa.

r5k penalties and a criminal record first set of lockdown fines revealed - R5k penalties, and a criminal record: First set of ‘lockdown fines’ revealed

On our first day of lockdown, there are still some kinks that need ironing out. So far on Friday, we’ve seen citizens take to the streets and queue en masse, breaking strict social distancing rules. Others have been arrested for failing to leave the house without a valid reason. And, if you live in Potchefstroom, things look like they’re about to get even more serious.

Could the rest of South Africa follow Potchefstroom’s lead?

We at thesouthafrican.com have seen documents which reveal how much the authorities in the North West’s Tlokwe District will fine offenders. Both the magistrate district and the chief prosecutor for the region have confirmed the authenticity of the paperwork, and the four-figure fines they plan to dish-out to those flouting the new rules.

Chris Hattingh – a DA representative in the area – has also verified the court article. Another source says they are waiting on further confirmation of its origin. But it’s contents show that the top legal minds in Potchefstroom aren’t playing about when it comes to holding the public accountable for their actions.

Potchefstroom strikes first in “lockdown legislation”

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Breaking lockdown rules – what you can be fined for, and how much it will cost you

It’s not yet been established just how far these powers will reach. They appear to be ready for the go-ahead in Potchefstroom, pending final confirmation. Whether we could have something like this at a national level remains to be seen, but local authorities are now pressing ahead with some of their own legislation.

Some of the offences will be punishable by a “Non-admission of Guilt” order. This means you can’t pay your way out of trouble, and any activity on this list (which prohibited by lockdown laws) will go onto your criminal record. However, the NAG mainly applies to people who have breached the same rule more than once.

The violations listed by the Potchefstroom Magistrate Office include:

Fines of R5 000

  • Convening of a mass gathering.
  • Opening a liquor licensed premises and giving access to 50 people or more.
  • Hindering or interfering with any SAPS or SANDF member as they try to carry out their duties.
  • Lying about having coronavirus, or falsely telling someone they have it.
  • Continuing to operate as a business without permission or selling prohibited goods.

Fines of R2 000 or below

  • Failing to present permit which allows businesses to continue trading.
  • Failing to confine yourself to your residence without good reason.
  • Being part of any illegal gathering, such as a planned worship or protest action.
  • Moving between metropolitan areas.

You can be criminally charged for…

  • Registering your third offence of being out of your home without permission.
  • Registering a second offence of arranging an illegal gathering.
  • Being caught moving between metropolitan areas on multiple occasions.
  • Failing to stop the sale of illegal goods after a previous fine.

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