No cigarettes, no alcohol, no walking the dog and now no kissing.
This was the latest demand from Police Minister Bheki Cele as part of his plea for South Africans to maintain physical distancing in a bid to try to curb the rapid spreading of Covid-19.
Addressing law enforcement agencies in Secunda in Mpumalanga yesterday, Cele, while wearing a face mask not covering his nose, urged people to keep their distance – even in the middle of the night.
“When you get time to stay in, stay in. Maintain social distancing, even at night. Don’t come close any more than a metre. No kissing. No nothing. Keep distance. Even in the middle of the night,” he told a giggling audience.
Cele did not mince his words in making it clear that social distancing was one way in which to deal with the spread of the virus.
He also told the officers that those who would not listen must be dealt with harshly.
“This thing of thinking only forces must behave must end. When they are gallivanting, tell them to go back to their houses.
“If they don’t listen, push them back to their houses,” an animated Cele said.
He also had some harsh words for those who were looting liquor stores, saying he could not understand why they would choose to rather do this than rob food stores.
For those who thought he would relent on the sale of alcohol, he also had some advice: drink a lot of water.
His advice, and especially his ban on alcohol and cigarettes, sparked many comments on social media, with one saying he wondered how the minister would feel to spend lockdown without his hat.