Home South African Cele issues stern warning to organisers of large gatherings

Cele issues stern warning to organisers of large gatherings


Concerns have been raised about the large gathering of former president Jacob Zuma’s supporters outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

Supporters of former president Jacob Zuma outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court. Picture: Bongani Mbatha /African News Agency (ANA)

POLICE Minister Bheki Cele has issued a stern warning to event organisers to heed Covid-19 regulations regarding gatherings.

This comes after concerns were raised about the large gatherings outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court this week.

Hundreds of people gathered outside court to show their support for former president Jacob Zuma as his corruption trial got under way. Many of the supporters were not wearing masks and there was little to no social distancing.

Cele said such activities are concerning as the number of daily recorded Covid-19 cases is looking bad.

“South Africans have a very relaxed mindset. To them, Level 1 of the lockdown is equal to nothing – and that is something we can not accept,” Cele said.

Responding to the Pietermaritzburg High Court incident, Cele said the organisers of such an event should be held accountable for what occurred outside the court.

He said if a person organises any form of event, they must take on board the laws of the land and, if not, they must face the consequences.

“As you’re rightfully saying, you could see that people are not wearing masks and are not observing social distancing. I also think that we do need to contribute by asking what’s the story behind everything that happened on the day.

“We also urge the organisers of these events to respect the laws of the land,” he said.

He further stated that he believed that President Cyril Ramaphosa would be speaking soon on many issues pertinent to compliance with Covid-19 restrictions.