Social distancing at Andrew Mlangeni’s home — a police investigation & denials

Minister in the presidency Jackson Mthembu denied that social distancing rules were contravened during the service and funeral for Andrew Mlangeni.
Minister in the presidency Jackson Mthembu denied that social distancing rules were contravened during the service and funeral for Andrew Mlangeni.
Image: SUNDAY TIMES/ ESA ALEXANDER

Minister in the presidency Jackson Mthembu says there was no contravention of lockdown regulations at the home of struggle stalwart and Rivonia trialist Andrew Mlangeni earlier this week.

Mthembu’s response came as scores continued to take to social media on Tuesday and Wednesday, to question whether leaders were exempt from abiding by the law, which allows for up to 50 people to gather at funerals.

“There are only 50 people, including the family at the funeral service of ubaba Andrew Mlangeni. I am part of the 50. At the morning church service at his house there were even less than 50 people. Yes many people lined his street in honour of this wonderful man,” he wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula said the community had “erupted spontaneously” on Tuesday to pay their last respects during the arrival of Mlangeni's coffin before the funeral on Wednesday.

He said they were not invited by the ANC leadership, and said marshals had tried to push them back.

The investigation

On Wednesday, Gauteng police spokesperson Brig Vish Naidoo said police were investigating whether mourners breached the Disaster Management Act at Mlangeni’s home on Tuesday.

He said the decision to investigate followed calls by the public, to arrest individuals who violated the law. ANC officials, members of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) and Mlangeni's neighbours gathered for the arrival of the coffin.

Naidoo said once the investigation had been concluded, the directorate for public prosecutions would make a decision upon receiving the docket.

What South Africans had to say:


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