Coronavirus News Africa

DA considering laying charges against an Eastern Cape municipal speaker after she allegedly attended Good Friday church service during lockdown



A video has emerged on social media showing Ingquza Hill municipality speaker Ntandokazi Capa, allegedly contravening the lockdown regulations. 

Capa is the daughter of the Deputy Minister of Small Business Development, Nokuzola Capa.  

The video which was posted on the Eastern Cape municipality’s Facebook page shows Capa entering a hall along with several church leaders, as well as former Ingquza Hill mayor Pat Mdingi, for a Good Friday church service. At least 20 people, who are shown not wearing masks or gloves, enter the hall as church music plays in the background. In the footage, attendees are shown seated a chair away from each other in an effort to observe social distancing while one pastor after the other gives a sermon. 

Efforts by News24 to reach Capa for comment were unsuccessful. It will be added once received. 

Criminal charges

Reacting to the video, the DA said it would be laying criminal charges against Capa and Mdingi for contravening Covid-19 regulations. 

DA leader in OR Tambo region, Mlindi Nhanha said that Capa’s actions would further perpetuate a stereotype in the area that coronavirus was non-existent or that only a certain race group is vulnerable to the disease.

“The DA calls on the Eastern Cape MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Xolile Nqatha, to take a swift and decisive action against councillors involved and institute an urgent investigation to establish who authorised this blatant disregard of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s orders,” he said. 

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has previously warned against church gatherings during the lockdown saying that such events had the potential to spread the pandemic astronomically. 

ALSO READ: Covid-19: Everyone in SA should wear a cloth mask in public, says Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

Ramaphosa together with Mkhize made a plea to church leaders to cancel Easter services to help reduce the number of infections. 

On Friday, Police Minister Bheki Cele said it was challenging to enforce the regulations in most rural areas. However, he said authorities had received a lot of tip-offs to help the police enforce regulations. 

“I must say South Africans don’t like to die. South Africans don’t like people who break the law. We receive a lot of information about those people that don’t want to keep the law and we respond to those.”

READ: Police question Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, meet with NPA over lockdown breach- Cele

The video comes as police investigate Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams for contravening the lockdown regulations.

President Cyril Ramaphosa placed Ndabeni-Abrahams on special leave for two months after an Instagram post emerged on social media showing her having dinner at the home of former Deputy Minister of Education Mduduzi Manana. She has since apologised in a video message, in which she also admitted to flouting the regulations. 

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