Mpumalanga premier “regrets” going maskless

Everson Luhanga

Mpumalanga premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane has admitted to being guilty for not wearing a mask at the funeral of Minister in the presidency Jackson Mthembu.

Mtsweni-Tsipane made a statement at the the Vosman Police Station in Emalahleni and apologised to President Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy President David Mabuza, the Mthembu family, the people of Mpumalanga and the rest of the country.

In a media statement released on Monday, Mtsweni-Tsipane said:

  • I have also written a letter to the president of the republic expressing my regret over the situation.
  • I have bought 1,000 masks that will be distributed in Emalahleni as part of a public education and awareness campaign to demonstrate the serious nature of Covid-19.
  • I express condolences to all the families who have lost their loved ones during the pandemic.
  • I also wish those who are currently struggling with the virus a speedy recovery.
  • I have taken a decision to go into isolation for a period of 14 days.

Mtsweni-Tsipane has been trending on different social media platforms with South Africans expressing their unhappiness with the premier’s conduct.

“I have noted social media and media reports revealing moments where I was walking around without a mask. I have since reflected deeply on this momentary lapse, which I regret profusely.

“I should have known better as a public figure and more so, attending a Covid-19 funeral,” she said in a statement.

On Sunday, police minister Bheki Cele commanded top cops to investigate the premier’s conduct stating that “the wearing of masks in public is not negotiable.”

Mtsweni-Tsipane’s excuse for the maskless saga was that she was not aware that the mask had fallen off her mouth the time when she walked out of her car.

Picture source: @tumisole