Since the start of the long weekend, members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) have arrested 41 congregants in two separate religious gatherings.
In the first incident, members of the SAPS Tactical Response Team (TRT) arrested 17 men on Friday, 24 April 2020 at approximately 13:00. This after the congregants converged in a building in Pretoria West in what appeared to be a religious gathering.
All 17 suspects are still in police custody as we await confirmation on their nationalities from the Department of Home Affairs. They will be either be released on bail, issued with a fine, and or taken to court on Tuesday, 28 April 2020, depending on the outcome of the preliminary investigations.
In a second incident, 24 congregants were arrested on 25 April 2020 after they too formed part of what appeared to be a religious gathering in an area called Masibekela in the Mbuzini policing jurisdiction of Mpumalanga. Contrary to various reports, it was these arrests, and not Pretoria West, that were captured on video which went viral on social media platforms.
In both incidents the congregants are alleged to have contravened the Regulations of the Disaster Management Act.
The comment made about Prophet Mohammed, which can be heard at the end of the video, is rather unfortunate and it is unacceptable that someone could make such an utterance. Therefore, the SAPS management has directed that this matter too be investigated and the person/s who made the comment about the Prophet be identified and brought to book.
Furthermore, people of all religious denominations, particularly religious leaders are once again urged to ensure total compliance of the Disaster Management Regulations Act which are being implemented to combat the Covid-19 virus. These Regulations are in place to ensure that all people in South Africa are safe and protected against the virus.
South Africa Today – South Africa News