Mpumalanga Premier seen without a mask, Cele orders an investigation

Mpumalanga Premier seen without a mask, Cele orders an investigation

Police Minister Bheki Cele has asked for an investigation into the conduct of Mpumalanga Premier, Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane, who was spotted on national TV not wearing a mask at the funeral held for Jackson Mthembu in Emalahleni on Sunday.

Mpumalanga Premier

Cele says the matter was brought to his attention from various corners of society.

“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,” says Cele.

“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,” warns the Minister.

Premier Mtsweni-Tsipane has since released a statement in which she apologises, claiming that her mask was damaged and somehow fell off without her realising that she was not wearing the protective facial covering.

“Upon arrival at the cemetery and disembarking from her vehicle, the Premier’s mask was damaged, and the Premier was oblivious of the fact that it had fallen off. The Premier was of the belief that the mask was intact as had been the case throughout the proceedings.

The Premier’s aides promptly sought a replacement mask which the Premier utilized for the rest of the proceedings,” reads the statement.

“The Premier has extended an apology to the people of Mpumalanga for that momentary lapse wherein her mask fell without her being aware or conscious of it.”


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