A video circulating on social media showing Police Minister Bheki Cele at a social event is not from New Year’s Eve in 2020, says the Police Ministry.
The video shows Cele at a packed event, wearing no mask and not complying with social distancing as would be required during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Bheki Cele enjoying New Years With all the social distancing. Lockdown Rules for plebs only, Covid does not affect Law makers. Covid gave our politicians a Zero infection Permit, Eish,” a social media user posted on Twitter via a group called “Sick of Corruption & Racism“.
Bheki Cele enjoying New Years
With all the social distancing👁️👁️
Lockdown Rules for plebs only
Covid does not affect Law makers
Covid gave our politicians a Zero infection Permit
— Sick of Corruption & Racism @myanc (@c_kumalo) January 2, 2021
However, Police Ministry spokesperson Lirandzu Themba tweeted a statement saying the video was taken in 2017.
[FAKE NEWS ALERT] The Police Ministry has noted the circulation of a video of @SAPoliceService Minister Gen Bheki Cele at a social event. The video was taken in 2017 & not on #NewYearsEve2020 under the adjusted #Level3Lockdown as suggested by some social media users. #WearAMask pic.twitter.com/wl2m87x7B4
— Lirandzu Themba (@LirandzuThemba) January 2, 2021
South Africa is currently under a night-time curfew starting at 9pm and no social events are allowed due to Level 3 restrictions. Instead, President Cyril Ramaphosa encouraged residents to light a candle at home on New Year’s Eve in memory of those who have died of COVID-19.
Picture: Screenshot from video