Fact Check: No, Ramaphosa and ANC bigwigs didn't party during lockdown

Fact Check: No, Ramaphosa and ANC bigwigs didn't party during lockdown

- Photos of what seems to be a high-profile birthday celebration have hit social media

- The post condemned SA leadership, including President Cyril Ramaphosa, for failing to follow Covid-19 lockdown regulations

- Briefly.co.za explores the facts behind the drama concerning these snaps

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A Facebook post has slammed President Cyril Ramaphosa and 50 other ANC members for failing to follow Covid-19 preventative measures.

The post included photos of the politicians laughing and hugging during the celebrations, commenting that:

“On the 6th June 2020 it was totally permissible for President Ramaphosa and over 50 ANC members not to wear a mask at a birthday party, NO social Distancing and they were hugging each other … It really doesn’t make sense.”

Screenshots of this post spread like wildfire shared hundreds of times at a time where a similar gathering of ordinary citizens would be considered highly illegal.

Gatherings involving over 50 people are only permitted under specific circumstances, including funerals and religious gatherings.

READ ALSO: South African struggle hero Andrew Mokete Mlangeni turns 95 years old

Social visits, even to celebrate a birthday, are prohibited and citizens face arrest for contravening the Disaster Management Act.

Briefly.co.za gathered that the event was indeed a birthday celebration for veteran Andrew Mlangeni.

Mlangeni served 26 years imprisoned on Robben Island alongside the likes of Nelson Mandela and Govan Mbeki, a highly respected anti-apartheid activist.

However, this specific set of pictures shared by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 6 June actually were of the veteran's 93rd birthday dinner two years ago.

News24 reports that Mlangeni actually spent the day at home, treated to gifts in line with the Covid-19 restrictions:

“Due to national lockdown regulations, the occasion was marked by a ‘dignified drive-through’ at his home in Dube, Soweto. Each car was given 30 seconds to wish Mlangeni a happy birthday and drop off a present outside the house."

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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