No charges for breach of lockdown regulations at Andrew Mlangeni's funeral - Cele

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Ramaphosa declared a special official funeral category 1 for Mlangeni.
Ramaphosa declared a special official funeral category 1 for Mlangeni.
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  • The NPA will not pursue charges after mourners crowded around the coffin of struggle stalwart Andrew Mlangeni at his home in July.
  • The issue sparked debate and led to criticism.
  • Hundreds were gathered outside the home although regulations limited funerals to 50 attendees.

Prosecutors will not pursue charges after mourners crowded around the coffin of struggle stalwart Andrew Mlangeni outside his home without practising social distancing.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said a case was opened at the Orlando police station after Mlangeni's funeral in July.

READ Ronnie Kasrils | Andrew Mlangeni: A tribute to Comrade Reliable

Responding to EFF MP Brian Madlingozi's written parliamentary question this week, Cele said the case was immediately investigated.

"A criminal case was opened at Orlando Police Station on 30 July, for the contravention of the Disaster Management Act, regulating the number of attendees at a funeral. The case was investigated and presented to the senior prosecutor at the Orlando Magistrate's Court who declined to prosecute," he said.

He added that the prosecutors said: "The alleged event was spontaneous. The suspect did not invite the mourners and had no control over them."

The events sparked debate and led to criticism, and the ANC's national executive committee apologised and expressed regret for the breach of lockdown regulations, which included physical distancing and the prohibition of gatherings of more than 50 people.

READ HERE | Andrew Mlangeni would not be cowed nor silenced - President Cyril Ramaphosa

The party said only a select number of leaders had been deployed by the party and that the rest were people who had lined the streets in Mlangeni's honour.

Social distancing was not the only allegation of the contravention of lockdown regulations at Mlangeni's funeral.

Three South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members were caught on camera lighting cigarettes and smoking.

At the time, the sale of cigarettes were prohibited, but smoking was not a crime.

Internal disciplinary processes are under way against the soldiers.

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