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Magashule supporters charged for public gathering

Staff Reporter

Free State police have confirmed they have opened a case against the organisers of a gathering by supporters of ANC secretary general Ace Magashule for breaching COVID-19 regulations.

Provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Sam Makhele told The Free Stater by telephone that the organisers of the event will be charged for breaking the Disaster Management Act.

“Yes indeed a case has been opened against the organisers of that event,” he said.

Makhele said police could not disperse the crowd during Magashule’s appearance at the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court on Friday as they found it risky as it could result in a commotion.

“When we assessed the situation, we realised it could be risky to disperse the crowd as it could result in a stampede,” said the police spokesperson.

He could not immediately confirm who the police were going to charge for the illegal gathering.

The spokesperson for the uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association, Carl Niehaus, told journalists that those who gathered observed social distancing requirements.

“I don’t understand where this vindictive approach from the police is coming from?” he said.

“There were never any plans for the SG (Magashule) to address the people. The people gathered here are here to support him.”

In line with the Disaster Management Act Level 3, every person, when attending a gathering and in order to limit exposure to COVID-19, must: wear a face mask; adhere to all health protocols; maintain a distance of at least one-and-a-half metres from each other; and adhere to any other health protocols and social distancing measures.

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