Fikile Mbalula to take legal action against Somizi Mhlongo over lockdown 'joke'
Cape Town - Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula is set to lay charges against TV and radio personality Somizi Mhlongo at the Sandton police station on Friday morning for alleged contravention of the government's lockdown rules.
This comes after Somizi claimed in a video on social media that Mbalula had told him President Cyril Ramaphosa would extend the nationwide lockdown.
According to a tweet, Mbalula wants Somizi to be charged with Contravening Government Lockdown Regulations as published under the Disaster Management Act on fake news peddling and misinformation peddling.
MINISTER MBALULA TAKES ACTION AGAINST NAME DROPPING AND MISINFORMATION BY SOMIZI MHLONGO— MEDIA LIAISON | Esethu Hasane (@EsethuOnDuty) April 10, 2020
Minister Mbalula will be at Sandton Police Station Friday morning to report the contravention of the Government Lockdown Regulations as
Venue: Sandton Police Station
Time: 10:00am pic.twitter.com/vWI4MNnQMw
In an Instagram live video between Somizi and Metro FM colleague Dineo Ranaka, Somizi claimed that Mbalula had told him President Cyril Ramaphosa would extend the nationwide lockdown. The video sparked an outcry on social media.
Somizi has since taken to Instagram to deny that he had spoken to Mbalula and admitted his bombshell was just a joke. He has also apologised.
Mbalula has denied the alleged interaction and said he had spoken to Somizi about the effects of the badly timed joke.
When the lockdown was announced regulations gazetted state that "any person who publishes any statement, through any medium, including social media, with the intention to deceive any other person about:
Covid-19 infection status of any person; or
Any measure taken by the government to address Covid-19, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or both such fine and imprisonment."IOL