Funeral crowds flagged as a concern for COVID-19 infection

JOHANNESBURG – Some government officials are facing criticism for violating lockdown regulations at the funeral of late struggle stalwart Andrew Mlangeni on Tuesday.

WATCH: Funeral service of Andrew Mlangeni 

Ministers were part of a large crowd of mourners, gathered outside the Mlangeni family residence in Soweto.

The large gathering of mourners raised questions about the lockdown regulations and to whom they should apply.

The maximum number of funeral attendants currently allowed at a funeral in South Africa is 50.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said the gathering was spontaneous and involved a platoon of MKMVA and marshalls from the ANC attempting to bring the body of Mlangeni into the family home.

He urged that the moment, honouring the life of the last Rivonia trialist, not be overshadowed by the gathering sayind, “what a freedom fighter stood for must not be outdone by a moment of members of the community coming out.”

As soon as the mourners were informed of the violation, a limited number of attendees brought the body into the family home, Mabe said.

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“Just last year we did not have COVID-19, we ought to understand this. It will take its own time for our people to learn to understand and appreciate that COVID-19 calls for a greater change of behaviour from the rest of our citizens,” Mabe said.

The party spokesperson denied that further measures to disperse the crowds could have been taken.

“It is not for the ANC, as an organisation, to tell the people of South Africa how they must celebrate the heroic deeds of their leaders,” he said.

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