- Thuli Madonsela has weighed in with her views on the controversy involving a maskless Premier
- Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane has been the centre of a scandal after appearing on national TV minus her mask
- But the former public protector says that such a mistake is possible and the police aren't allowed to arrest anyone who makes it on the spot
Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is the latest to weigh in on the controversy involving Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane.
Her comments had come in response to former Minister Derek Hanekom, who had raised his views:
"It's quite straightforward actually: we either arrest and charge people for not wearing masks in public or we don't. If we do, politicians certainly can't be exempted. Simple."
Madonsela expanded on this opinion, pointing out that her understanding of the matter is different:
"My understanding is that the police must warn a person to wear a mask before considering an arrest. Why was the premier not warned? Even more curious, why did her team not alert her? When consumed by thoughts, it’s possible to temporarily forget to mask."
Madonsela further clarified that police officials are not permitted to simply arrest a person:
"If police are arresting people without first asking them to wear a mask, they are breaking the law. The regulations require the police to first warn you to put on a mask."
This debate comes in response to numerous calls for the Premier's arrest after the incident went viral. Numerous citizens had been witnessed being taken into custody for similar, fueling the outrage.
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that the Office of the Premier has released a statement listing the action that Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane has taken after her mask scandal.
The Premier confirmed that she has submitted a 'statement of guilt' at the Vosman Police Station in Emalahleni in response to the immense backlash.
In addition to this, Mtsweni-Tsipane has purchased 1 000 face masks and taken the time to reflect deeply on her 'momentary lapse' which she insists she deeply regrets:
“To further demonstrate my remorse, I have bought a 1000 masks that will be distributed in Emalahleni as part of [a] public education and awareness campaign to demonstrate the serious nature of COVID-19."
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!