A groom was left in shock after his wedding day turned out to be the worst experience of his life as police seized food meant for his guests.
Now, he believes they were being deliberately targeted.
But his main worry was why the food, including uncooked meat, was taken away by the police at his wedding while other people have been celebrating and feasting in Letlhakeng without much ado.
Sharing his sad plight with The Monitor, the groom, Odirile Maeletso said it was a tale of joy turning into unbearable sorrow when law enforcement officers invaded his wedding feast to seize the food, leaving the village in complete utter shock.
Maeletso said the police furiously came, took out pots and loaded up the food into two vans, leaving everyone traumatised.
“Kafa mapodisi a dirileng ka teng ene okare go personal. Manyalo a tlhola a jewa mo Letlhakeng, go apewa batho ba a ja, mme nna ka lenyalo lame ya nna matlhabisa ditlhong. Gone go phaketse gole patlo mme mapodisi ba goroga re tloga re emelela goya go folosa ko ga Molaodi,” Maeletso narrated the ordeal in vernacular, describing the incident as humililating. He added since the ceremony was held at his in-laws’ he was not involved in the negotiations with the police, but he was shocked to see them loading cooked and unprepared food into the police vans.
“I was hurt. It appears it was personal because the police would not listen to our parents’ pleas not to confiscate the food. They could have only seized the cooked food, suspecting that the family could have prepared it to serve attendants, but to seize the uncooked meat as well was cruelty at its best,” he said.
Maeletso said bars and liquor outlets in Letlhakeng have
He conceded that the family might have failed to limit the number of attendants, but provided the registry, taking people’s body temperatures and making sure they provide sanitisers.
“The new normal is still a challenge to a majority of people and controlling people’s numbers in a wedding in a village is quite a challenge. What the police did was terrible. They could have at least charged the family not to seize their food,” Maeletso said.
Reached for comment, Letlhakeng Police Station commander, Superintendent Mogomotsi Kesupile said the law was clear and they will continue to arrest and charge people who failed to observe COVID-19 regulations.
He said they seized the food as evidence.
“As the police we seize anything that affords evidence and seek judicial order to dispose of it. The wedding had a lot of people,” Kesupile said.
“They had registered 140 people, but by the look of things the numbers were more than that, and we suspect the two slaughtered cows attracted those multitudes. The law is clear that food should not be served.”
He added that the family was charged with overcrowding and fined P2,000 after admitting to the offence. Kesupile called on residents of Letlhakeng to obey COVID-19 regulations.
“It is the host’s responsibility to make sure that the required numbers attend the event. Adherence to COVID-19 regulations remains a concern in my policing area because even bars and liquor restaurants do not follow the regulations. There is no social distancing amongst alcohol imbibers,” Kesupile said.