Police are investigating the violation of lockdown regulations by mourners at the home of late struggle icon Andrew Mlangeni, eNCA reported.
The large gathering of mourners outside the Mlangeni family residence in Soweto raised questions on lockdown regulations and to whom they should apply.
The maximum number of funeral attendants currently allowed at a funeral in South Africa is 50.
SAPS spokesperson Vish Naidoo said, “The regulations in terms of the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002, makes provision for the dispersing of crowds who gather illegally and it also makes provision to hold accountable, a person or persons who convenes or organises illegal gatherings.”
Naidoo told eNCA a case of contravention of the Disaster Management Act has been opened and will be investigated by the police.
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 saying, “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.
“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.