Mlangeni mourners in hot water for ’flouting’ lockdown gathering restrictions
Durban - National police spokesperson, Brigadier Vish Naidoo, has confirmed that SAPS will be looking into claims that mourners at the funeral service of ANC stalwart Andrew Mlangeni flouted lockdown regulations.
Mlangeni passed away last week, aged 95. He was the last remaining Rivonia trialist.
Naidoo said the Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure was alerted to the complaints following numerous calls made via social media platforms, calling for mourners to be arrested.
“The Regulations in terms of the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002 makes provision for the dispersing of crowds who gather illegally and to hold accountable a person or persons who convenes or organizes illegal gatherings,” Naidoo said.
He added that a case of contravention of Section 48 (1) (a) of the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002 will be opened for investigation.
“On completion of the investigation the docket will be submitted to the Directorate for Public Prosecution for a decision,” Naidoo said.
In an interview with Newzroom Africa, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, said the situation was exaggerated.
"The reality of the matter is that we were less than 10 and when the coffin arrived, people moved forward. And when the priest and the leadership of the ANC handed over the coffin to the family, they came forward and people came forward and marshalls pushed them back. It was held up for about 10 minutes when the coffin was released into the house," he said.
Mbalula said there was order. He added that people were wearing masks and had sanitisers.
He called the spectacle a “spontaneous act”.
According to Alert Level 3 Covid-19 lockdown regulations, attendance at a funeral is limited to 50 persons and it is not regarded as a prohibited gathering. Furthermore, during a funeral, all health protocols and social distancing measures must be adhered to, in order to limit exposure of persons at the funeral.