Officials are cracking down on gatherings that are undermining the 21-day lockdown regulations around the country.

More than 50 people have been arrested in Nseleni, outside Richards Bay, in KwaZulu-Natal for contravening the lockdown regulations by holding a wedding.

South African National Defence (SANDF) members and the police pounced on the wedding party during the matrimonial ceremony.

The group has been charged with the contravention of the Disaster Management Act.

The newly-weds and the pastor, who was presiding over the wedding ceremony, were among those arrested.

National Police Spokesperson Vish Naidoo has urged the public to study the lockdown regulations.

“There are certain exceptions to the rule of people gathering. People are allowed to gather for a funeral of more than 50 people and that funeral procession must lead straight from a mortuary to a crematorium or cemetery do weddings are not allowed during this period. We advise people to read the regulation thoroughly to study the regulations so that they understand what is expected of them. Ignorance cannot be accepted as a ground of justification.”

Mourners ordered to leave

In the Eastern Cape, Health officials have instructed excess mourners to leave a funeral in the Ncihana West administrative area in Elliotdale.

In terms of the new regulations to minimise contact, only 50 people are allowed to attend a burial.

A family member, who wishes to remain anonymous, says instead of leaving – the group later gathered outside the yard.

Elliotdale has a confirmed case of COVID-19.

In the video below, Eastern Cape Health MEC Sindisiwe Gomba explains measures put in place against COVID-19:

The Department of Health in the province is appealing to all citizens to adhere to the lockdown gathering regulation, particularly when attending funerals.

This, after many new cases of the virus, were found to have originated from contact at funerals.

Health Spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo says the department understands that social distancing is compromised at such events.

He says those who think they may have been affected must call the hotline.

“We, therefore, appeal to those people to immediately contact our toll free number 08000 323 64 as and when they develop flu-like symptoms. The number again is 080032364. We would like to appeal to people to please adhere to these rules that have been announced by government. It is in the best interest of the country, in the best interest of the department and in the best interest of the public,” says Kupelo.

North West arrests

Police in the North West say they have arrested more than 3 800 people, for contravening the nationwide lockdown regulations. Deputy Provincial Commissioner for Policing Major-General Patrick Asaneng says most of the people were arrested for failure to confine themselves to their residential areas.

He says others were arrested for not complying with the limited number of people permitted to attend funerals, operating businesses and moving from one province to the other.

“So far in the province we have a total of of 3863. The majority of our arrests are people who have been issued with fines and these total is 2 543 and those fines are only for the violation of COVID-19 regulations and it brings the total of the arrests including the fines that have been made in the whole province to 3 863.”