Funerals: Gauteng police enforce regulations, arrest mourners

South African Police Service

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Funerals: Gauteng police enforce regulations, arrest mourners
Funerals: Gauteng police enforce regulations, arrest mourners

Gauteng police in collaboration with the SANDF and other law enforcement agencies, are cautioning members of the public to refrain from deliberately flouting Disaster Management Act Regulations particularly in relation to attendance at funerals, where the number of mourners is limited to 50.

This comes as police on Saturday 18 July 2020, traced and arrested a 33-year old woman in Mabopane after she appeared on a video clip clearly contravening the DMA Regulations and daring police to “stand aside and leave them to bury the deceased” during a funeral that took place on Friday 17 July 2020 in Soshanguve.

A number of other video clips related to the same funeral service are circulating on social media and these also confirm that the number of mourners in attendance was by far in excess of the regulated limit of 50 people.

The woman has since been charged with contravention of the DMA Regulations and was released on a warning to appear before the Soshanguve Magistrate Court on 3 September 2020.

At the same time, police have also charged in terms of the COVID-19 Disaster Management Act, a family member of the deceased in their capacity as the convener/organizer of the same funeral service, for failing to ensure adherence to the Regulations by the mourners. The family member was also released and will appear before the Soshanguve Magistrate Court on 24 August 2020.

With Gauteng Province recently declared the epicenter of the virus, areas such as Garankuwa and Soshanguve have this past week been cited by the provincial Department of Health as amongst those topping the list of COVID-19 hotspots in the province. It is with this in mind that security forces in the province are tightening measures to enforce the regulations, following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation during which the President called for greater personal responsibility.

The Acting Provincial Commissioner of police in the province, Major General Johan Ndlovu has reminded communities that the regulations are in place to protect human lives during the COVID-19 pandemic and not to punish people.

“The COVID-19 pandemic, and people losing their lives to the virus, is no joke. Anyone that deliberately flouts the regulations exposes those around them to a high risk of contracting the corona virus. In fact, mourners who do not fall within the list of persons permitted to attend funerals during the lockdown, place an unnecessary extra burden on the grieving family who deserve the space to give their loved ones a dignified send-off, without the added responsibility of ensuring compliance to regulations during the funeral,” cautioned Ndlovu.

Major General Ndlovu has also commended those members of the public who continue to volunteer information to the police where they observe incidents of contravention of the Regulations in their neighbourhoods, in the best interest of curbing the spread of the corona virus.

SAPS Newsroom

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