- The nation bids farewell to the late Andrew Mlangeni on Wednesday but a scandal has emerged amid the send-off
- Allegations of lockdown violations were levied against the ANC after large crowds gathered to witness the procession
- Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has denied any wrong-doing on the behalf of the ruling party, insisting that the situation was under control
Wednesday was meant to be the final farewell for struggle veteran Andrew Mlangeni but controversy marred the occasion. The deceased was returned to Soweto, his home, and the event drew scores of citizens eager to take part in the funeral service.
With the coffin making its way down the street, hundreds gathered in violation of lockdown regulations which dictate that no more than 50 people are permitted during similar ceremonies.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula was quick to deny allegations of flouting restrictions, adamant that top ANC officials had adhered to the rules during the funeral.
Mbalula insists the crowd that formed was 'spontaneous' and quickly dispersed, commenting:
“The people of Soweto came out spontaneously. The nation is depressed and everything is toxic around us, we get criticised without facts. The reality is that there were less than 10 of us at first. When the coffin arrived, the family came forward, then the public came forward, and the marshals tried to push them back.”
The minister denies that the situation was ever out of control despite the criticism that followed:
“There was no commotion, there was order. People had their masks on, there was sanitiser. I’ve seen the criticism and it happens all the time. It was not a planned act at all, people are acting on assumptions.”
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that funerals were highlighted by the government as a major risk amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
After attending the funeral of the late Zindzi Mandela, EFF top dogs Julius Malema and Dali Mpofu faced dismay after posing for photos with attendants without masks or social distancing being adhered to.
This earned the Red Beret officials stern disapproval from citizens, with some claiming that if they hadn't been politicians, charges would have been laid over the apparent violation.
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