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R5 000 fine for dog walking

A woman was given a R5 000 fine for walking her dog on a beach during the 21-day lockdown.

Caren Emmery says she went for a walk at Grotto Beach towards Die Plaat. When she returned to her car that was parked at Piet se Bos, she was confronted by law enforcement officers who gave her a fine of R5 000. Emmery says the officers parked “aggressively close” to her car and she felt threatened.

Emmerey (62) says she felt confident to go and walk with her dog after she read an article in Hermanus Times that reported on comments made by the National Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, on Wednesday morning (25 March) in which he stated: “There’s no problem with jogging, walking the dogs or going to the grocery store during the lockdown,” he said. “If you go out and jog it must be for a short distance, and no mingling. We don’t want to see crowds. Be responsible about how you manage the lockdown (“Jog only for short distances, and no mingling!”, Hermanus Times, 26 March 2019).

Subsequent to these comments, Police Minister Bheki Cele prohibited any exercise in public spaces. Unfortunately Hermanus Times had already gone to print and the new (contradicting) comments could not be added.

Overstrand Municipality confirmed that no dog walking or jogging will be allowed during the lockdown. The municipality further confirmed that Emmerey would be able to appeal the fine.

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