Ebrahim Hartley, 38, of Beacon Valley left his home with an old prepaid slip and R20 when a cop in a police van pulled up on the pavement.
Ebrahim saw the van and turned around to walk back home when he was grabbed and bundled into the Law Enforcement vehicle.
At Mitchells Plain Police Station, he was placed in a holding cell with 12 other men just after 1pm on Saturday.
Meanwhile at home, Ebrahim’s wife Rushaan became frantic with worry and called the police station, who she says told her he would be kept for 21 days.
Rushaan, who works as a hairdresser and Ebrahim who is unemployed, rely on spaza shops in their community to purchase electricity, bread and milk.
“I immediately began to panic because my obvious thoughts were they would be sending my husband to Pollsmoor and he has never been inside prison before,” explains Rushaan.
“The president said we are allowed to visit the spaza shop and that is where we buy our electricity.
“He had his proof on him, the old slip, a R20 and his identity book.”
Cops released Ebrahim at 11pm and issued him with a warning notice to appear at the Mitchells Plain Magistrates’ Court on 11 June on a charge relating to the Disaster Management Act, which was activated by President Cyril Ramaphosa who called a national lockdown on 27 March.
According to restrictions, citizens are allowed to visit shops and spaza shops.
Ebrahim, who is also diabetic, says he fears becoming ill after he spent several hours inside a crowded, unhygienic cell.
“There were no precautions taken inside the cell,” he says.
“Everyone just had to share the space inside the police van and inside the cell.
“There is a sickness out there and that was my fear while I was inside the cells.
“I feel frightened now to go to the shop after this happened and the one police officer asked me why I do not buy in bulk.
“I said we were ordered by our president not to panic-buy.”
Paperwork shown to the Daily Voice confirmed that Ebrahim had been detained with his electricity slip and money on him.
Police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana says lockdown incidents are dealt with by national SAPS.