- Police Minister Bheki Cele has weighed in on the controversy surrounding Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane
- Cele has now called on police to investigate the Mpumalanga leader's maskless public appearance
- This comes amid outrage over the incident, which took place at Jackson Mthembu's funeral
Police Minister Bheki Cele has now called for a police investigation into the conduct of Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane.
The Premier had been spotted on national TV at the funeral of Minister Jackson Mthembu, prompting immense outrage.
Cele highlighted the wearing of masks in public as simply essential amid the fight against Covid-19:
"The wearing of masks in public is a non-negotiable. If South Africa wants to beat this invisible enemy which is Covid-19, we simply can’t let down our guard down."
The Police Minister has spoken to SAPS General Khehla Sitoloe, who will be looking into the matter:
"This is why I have spoken to the national commissioner of the South African Police Service General Khehla Sitole to look into the matter of the premier and an investigation must be conducted and necessary action must be taken."
The Police Minister reminded South Africans that wearing a face mask in public is mandatory with any person who fails to do so guilty of committing an offence. Upon conviction, any guilty party is liable to a fine or even imprisonment (not exceeding six months).
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane has apologised for the 'brief period' that she spent in public minus a face mask.
South Africans were up in arms when images of the Mpumalanga leader surfaced online attending Jackson Mthembu's funeral, to which the ANC politician has responded:
"The Premier notes the images circulating on social media wherein the Premier is seen without a mask as prescribed by the state of disaster regulation aimed at combating the spread of Covid-19. Upon arrival at the cemetery and disembarking from her vehicle, the Premier’s mask was somehow damaged and she was oblivious of that when it fell."
Despite the mask sitting on her face, the politician claims that she thought it was still intact during the ceremony:
"She thought it was intact as it was the case throughout. The Premier’s aides promptly sought a replacement mask which the Premier utilised for the rest of the proceedings. The Premier has extended her sincere apologies to the people of Mpumalanga and the country for that brief moment wherein her mask fell without her being aware or conscious of it."
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