Johannesburg – Mpumalanga premier, Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane was seen on TV not wearing a mask in public.
The premier was one of the dignitaries attending the funeral of minister in the presidency, Jackson Mthembu, who succumbed to Covid-19.
Mtsweni-Tsipane said she was not aware that her mask had fallen, an excuse that has drawn the rebuke of South Africans on social media.
She has now signed an admission of guilt at a police station in Emalahleni. According to reports, Mtsweni-Tsipane has accepted the fine.
Yesterday, the minister of police, Bheki Cele, in a statement, said the premier will be investigated.
“If South Africa wants to beat this invisible enemy which is COVID-19, we simply can’t let our guard down. 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,” Cele said.
Many ordinary South Africans have been arrested and fines for not wearing a mask in public spaces.
The premier released the following statement on Monday:
1. I have noted social media and media reports revealing moments where I was walking around without a mask.
2. I have since reflected deeply on this momentarily lapse, which I regret profusely.
3. I wish to take this opportunity once again
apologise to His Excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Deputy President of the Republic Mr David Mabuza, the Mthembu family, the people of Mpumalanga and the rest of the country.
4. I should have known better as a public figure and more so attending a Covid-19 funeral.
5. To this effect, I have deposited a statement of guilt at the Vosman Police Station in Emalahleni and where I accepted the necessary fine. Case number 314/01/2021.
6. I have also written a letter to the president of the republic expressing my regret of the situation.
7. To further demonstrate my remorse, I have bought a 1000 masks that will be distributed in Emalahleni as part of public education and awareness campaign to demonstrate the serious nature of COVID-19.
8. I wish to take this opportunity to express my condolences to all the families who have lost their loved one to the pandemic. I also wish those who are currently struggling with the virus a speedy recovery.
9. I have also taken a decision to go into isolation for a period of 14 days.
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