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Mpumalanga’s Premier in hot water for not wearing a mask at Mthembu funeral.

Article by: Dumisane Dube

Minister Beki Cele has called for the investigation on the alleged conduct of the Premier of Mpumalanga, Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane.

This is after Mtsweni-Tsipane was seen without a mask at the funeral of the late Jackson Mthembu on Sunday.

The Mpumalanga premier has apologized for not complying to the COVID-19 rules, stating that the mask fell off unaware.

Her apology reads as follows:

“We note the images circulating on social media, wherein the Premier is seen without a mask as prescribed by the regulations: Upon arrival at the cemetery and disembarking from the vehicle, the Premier’s mask was damaged and she was oblivious that it had fallen off. The Premier believed that the mask was intact, as it had been through the proceedings.”

“Her aides promptly sought a replacement mask, which the premier used for the rest of the funeral. Mtsweni-Tsipane extends an apology for that momentary lapse, where her mask fell without her being aware of it. We emphasize the importance of adhering to the COVID-19 regulations, and urge people to wear masks constantly.”- The office of the Mpumalanga Premier

Minister Cele has come out to say 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. This is why I have spoken to the National Commisioner 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.” Said Cele.

Cele further said that any person who fails to comply with a verbal instruction by a law enforcement officer, to wear a mask, commits an offence, and is, upon conviction, liable to a fine or a period of imprisonment, not exceeding six months or both.

#ArrestRefilweMtsweni has been created on Twitter, social media users are calling for Police Minister Bheki Cele to arrest the Premier of Mpumalanga for breaking the COVID-19 rules.

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