The Circuit Minister in the Presbyterian Church of Africa in the Western Cape, Reverend Mkhuseli Dukwana, says failure to wear a mask in public is tantamount to committing intentional suicide.

Dukwana had contracted the disease and has now recovered.

In an exclusive interview with SABC News in Parliament, Dukwana said it was a difficult road to recovery. He is pleading with those who disobey wearing a mask, not to do so.

“I was tested positive with COVID-19. By the grace of God I have fully recovered. The journey was not an easy one at all. It was a tough, hard and strenuous one. I would like to urge everybody in our country to take the issue of wearing masks in public seriously. If you do not wear your mask, you are not too far from a person who is intentionally committing suicide. If you do not want or wish to contract the virus, let us try to be subservient and adhere to the regulations that have been set forth by our government,” he says.

Dukwana’s call comes amid government’s continued calls for South Africans to take the virus seriously and protect themselves and others by observing safety protocols put in place to control it.

Constant washing of hands or sanitising; the wearing of masks and social distancing are measures encouraged to prevent the spread of the virus. South Africans are also urged to avoid social visits.

So far, more than 324 000 South Africans have contracted the virus and over 4 000 others have succumbed to it.

On Thursday night, 216 new COVID-19 related fatalities were reported in a 24-hour cycle.

Below are the COVID-19 statistics in SA: