Ban on mass gatherings tested as funerals get under way

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Guidelines prohibiting public gatherings of more than 100 people and the two meter social distancing will be put to the test on Saturday with many funerals being held this weekend.

One of the funerals trying to implement this is that of the three Goodall siblings, eleven-year-old Learyn, ten-year-old Lashay and six-year-old Aiden who died in the Golden Highway taxi crash earlier this month. They are being laid to rest on Saturday.

They were among the 12 people killed in the head-on collision between the minibus taxi and a car.

It remains to be seen whether mourners will be observing the guidelines as set out by the president as they go to funerals.

The Goodall family says there’s been large numbers of people wanting to come pay their last respects to the three siblings.

They’ve asked mourners to just line up the streets and not to go inside the Eldorado Park Catholic Church where the funeral service will be held.

“People were so emotionally attached to our children that they were not prepared to back down that’s why we asked them if you want to give support rather line up the streets,” says Noel Maart, Family spokesperson.

They hoping the police will also assist them to manage the expected crowds.

On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the coronavirus a national disaster and issued several bans including gatherings of more than 100 people.

In this video, the Goodall family expresses their sadness at their children’s death

Ban on church gatherings

Mass gatherings such as church services, weddings and funerals have been restricted to not more than 100 people. This ban was set in place to encourage social distancing following the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Some church leaders have voiced their disapproval of the restrictions, however many churches have cancelled Easter celebrations and church services.

Earlier this week, Gauteng Premier David Makhura announced that the province’s residents are required to inform police stations before holding gatherings such as funerals and weddings.