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No one charged for funeral COVID-19 non-compliance

LESEDI MKHUTSHWA
No one charged for funeral COVID-19 non-compliance
FRANCISTOWN: Tutume police have said that they have not charged anyone for breaking the COVID-19 health protocols at the recent Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) activist’s funeral held over the weekend.

This comes after videos went viral on social media platforms showing   some of the BDP members together with the party secretary general who is also the Minister of   Labour and Productivity, Mpho Balopi  singing hymns during the send-off of the activist Gape Tanjo.

During the send-off ceremony in Tutume village, a horde of BDP    members   did   not adhere to the   COVID-19 protocols to an extent that the same crowd surpassed the set number of 50 people per funeral protocol.

Tanjo was brutally murdered by her boyfriend, Baitseng Moikothai who later  committed suicide by  hanging himself.

In an interview with Tutume police station commander, Jerry Halahala said that they did not charge anyone for non-compliance of the Covid-19 regulations because they knew   nothing   about the funeral that popularly discussed in he social media and news media.He further said that they only learnt about the funeral on social media through the videos that went viral on Facebook.

On Sunday, a day after the funeral, Balopi posted an apology on Facebook for disregarding the

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health protocols at Tanjo’s funeral.

In his words, Balopi had said: “This past Saturday, I joined BDP members for the final farewell of Tanjo, a popular and dearly loved departed democrat. In view of the gruesome nature of her passing, Gape’s burial was attended by multitudes who gathered to console her family. However, it is regrettable that COVID-19 protocols were unfortunately flouted during the emotional farewell. Accordingly, as a leader should, I hereby take full responsibility, and I offer my unreserved public apology.”

He further wrote that in his view, the Tanjo family should be absolved for the turn of events, as they did not invite it upon themselves.

He also thanked Batswana at large for their compliance, and urged all democrats to adhere despite any circumstances.

In neighbouring South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa recently put his Communications minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams on special leave for two months and docked a month of her pay for breaking the rules of a countrywide lockdown by having lunch with a former official.



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