CAPE TOWN, 1 February 2021 – Scores of people protested over the weekend in South Africa, calling for an end to COVID-19 restrictions that have shutdown beaches.
Police and soldiers assigned to enforce the restrictions quickly dispersed the crowds, intentionally making no arrests in the process.
South Africa’s beaches were closed soon after the country recorded its first few cases of the South African strain of COVID-19.
Protesters have called the closure of the beaches in order to stem the spread of COVID-19 “exaggerated” and “unconstitutional”.
On Monday, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) called for the arrest of all those involved in the protests on the beaches.
Associations representing two churches have gone to court seeking to reverse the ban on pastors meeting with congregations of more than 50 people.
The petition by the churches argues that the decision by the government of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is unfair, notably given that other businesses, such as cinemas, remain open.
Bar owners who have been hit by a ban on the sale of alcohol have said they intend to invite the courts to end what they call an unconstitutional ban.
There were indications Monday that South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was planning to lift the ban.