SAPS increases spaza shops random searches
The South African Police Service (SAPS) floods St Geoerges Street, one of the busiest streets in the Durban CBD with blue every now and then to search all the spaza shops on the street. The police said this is the new normal for spaza shop owners.
Bruke Chauke, who oversees one of the shops said this was not the first time police visited the shop. Chauke alleged that two police officers had paid him a visit a week ago and told him he should close the shop and make a plan to avoid arrest.
“It was exactly 8 pm and legally under level 3 we close at 9pm. I told them I am only an employee the shop owner, my brother was shot three days ago and was in hospital, I could not make any plan,” Chauke added.
Another shop owner, Kaycee Lama said he does not mind when his shop is being searched because he knows he has nothing to hide.
“Tobacco is illegal to sell as per current lockdown regulations and I do not sell it so when the police come I do not have to hide anything,” said Lama.
Durban Central Communication Officer, Captain Muzi Maphumulo said police do random searches and tip-offs to check compliance in terms of Disaster Management Act to enforce Covid-19 regulations.
“When doing searches police are looking for illicit cigarettes and unlawful items like drugs or firearms and several arrests have been made contravening the Disaster Management Act”, said Maphumulo.