Concern as more public officials flout lockdown rules

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Cape Town – Charges are mounting against public officials who have flouted lockdown regulations.

In the latest incident, a charge was brought against Langeberg Municipality Mayor Henry Jansen, who was seen in a picture embracing councillor Niklaas Beginsel after the former met the latter in Worcester upon his release from prison on bail.

Cope councillor Daughwan Kuhn said it took action against Jansen on Friday.

“We think the mayor as the No 1 citizen should set an example. Here in Robertson, the people are in the street and not following the rules all the time, and this is why the mayor needs to set an example,” Kuhn added.

Thembani Mgoqi, from Cope’s Langeberg sub-region, said officials should not flout regulations and then post it on social media: “This thing is serious and the numbers are going up on a daily basis.

“They are meant to be an example and they are breaking the laws, I have a serious problem because we are at home and we are trying to abide by laws.”

The DA’s Melt Botes said: “According to the party’s code of conduct, the councillor will be referred to the speaker (and) we await the outcome of his assessment.”

Jansen did not respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this week, Witzenberg Municipality councillor Petrus Heradien also came under fire for allegedly trying to transport seasonal workers from Wolsely to Calvinia.

The Rural and Farmworkers Development Organisation lodged a complaint against Heradien, who was stopped by police and denied entry to Calvinia, for flouting the regulations.

Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has recently paid a R1 000 fine after she visited the home of former deputy minister of higher education Mduduzi Manana in Fourways earlier this month for a Sunday lunch and pictures of them together were posted on social media.

Ndabeni-Abrahams was charged with contravention of the Disaster Management Act, and summons were served on her to appear in the Pretoria District Court on May 22 or pay a fine.

NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said investigations ascertained that Ndabeni-Abrahams had not been to render an essential service or obtain essential goods as per the Covid-19 regulations.

President Cyril Ramaphosa then placed Ndabeni-Abrahams on special leave for two months, with one month unpaid.

Lawyer Ferdinand Hartzenberg asked whether the NPA would act as consistently in response to scores of citizens arrested for similar offences.

“One would hope they do. The problem is that it waters down the effectiveness of the regulations,” Hartzenberg said.

“Where the high court in Mpumalanga strongly supported the regulations on travel bans three weeks ago, it seems as if the NPA does not regard the regulations as serious, if one has cognisance of the outcome of this matter,” Hartzenberg said.

Cape Times

By Yolisa Tswanya and Zelda Venter

Credit: www.iol.co.za

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