Premier risks arrest for no mask at funeral


Mpumalanga provincial premier, Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane

MBOMBELA, (CAJ News) ALLEGATIONS of selective application of the law have rocked the South African government’s crackdown on violators of the coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations.

This is after the Premier of Mpumalanga province, Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane, was filmed not wearing a mask at the funeral of Jackson Mthembu, the late Minister in the Presidency.

The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on the South African Police Service (SAPS) to arrest and fine her following her non-compliance.

Jane Sithole, the DA Leader in Mpumalanga, condemned the “blatant double standards” in the treatment of ordinary South Africans compared to the treatment of African National Congress (ANC) cadres during this COVID-19 lockdown.

“There is no need for an investigation,” Sithole argued.

“Had this been an ordinary citizen, they would have already been arrested and fined, without any investigation.”

Failure to wear a mask in public is a punishable offence in South Africa as it battles the second wave of COVID-19.

Such a violation can incur a fine or jail term.

Sithole said Mtsweni-Tsipane thus must be subjected to same treatment as any South African.

“She (the premier) should be arrested and fined R1 500, payable in her personal capacity,” the opposition leader said.

“The weak excuse by the Premier’s Office that she did not notice her mask fell off (‘she was oblivious of that when it fell’) is an insult to the intelligence of South Africans.”

DA plans to open a case against the premier if action is not taken against her.

Mtsweni-Tsipane has apologised.

– CAJ News