Bride And Groom Arrested After Holding Wedding Ceremony During Lockdown
Police arrested more than 50 people, including the pastor at the ceremony, in the KwaZulu-Natal region yesterday (5 April) and their cases will be dealt with after lockdown rules are lifted.
Footage shared on Twitter shows police with rifles entering a densely populated gazebo, with crowds watching on as the groom subsequently helped his not-quite-wife into the back of a police van.
So yeah, not really the magical day they had hoped for.
But while we may be tempted to feel some pity for the lovebirds, it's important to remember why they were arrested.
#CityOfuMhlathuze More than 50 people arrested in a wedding at Nseleni outside Richards Bay today for contravening the #COVID2019 #lockdown regulations @ZOPublications @GCIS_KZN @ecr9495 @ukhozi_fm @eNCA @SAPoliceService @Sandford_Police @SALGA_Gov l pic.twitter.com/NaMagUWpUg- uMhlathuze (@UmhlathuzeM) April 5, 2020
South Africa - which has 1,655 confirmed cases of coronavirus, including 11 deaths - is now in the second week of one of the world's strictest lockdowns, with nothing but essential movement permitted. Purchasing alcohol and cigarettes has also been banned.
In a statement, uMhlathuze Municipality said the couple would be 'spending their honeymoon under stringent bail conditions'.
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The statement read: "Today police arrested 50 people who were attending a wedding at eNseleni outside Richards Bay. This will see the about-to-be newlyweds spending their honeymoon under stringent bail conditions.
"Amongst the arrested, is the Pastor who was officiating in the matrimony. All who attended the wedding were taken to eMpangeni Police Station for their cases to be registered and for bail arrangements. Their cases will be dealt with after the lockdown period.
"They are charged for contravening amongst others the National Disaster Act and defying the Lockdown Regulations. Six of amongst [sic] the suspects were found selling liquor, seven found to be illegal immigrants and four were found picnicking in front of the Richards Bay Civic Centre Park."
The mayor of Umhlathuze, Mduduzi Mhlongo, urged people to adhere to the lockdown measures to help preserve the safety of people across the country.
He said: "We are appealing to everyone to take this virus seriously and work with government to clamp it down before it ravages the whole nation. The number of people being infected is rising sharply and now we are beginning to see people dying in our country like in the other countries of the world.
"The lockdown by government is aimed at stopping the spread and to assist people not to be exposed to the virus by sitting at home for the duration of the lockdown. We must commend all those citizens who are abiding with the rules and encourage them to do so until the end. We believe this is for our own health and survival."
It's okay to not panic. LADbible and UNILAD's aim with our series, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we're facing. For more information from the World Health Organisation on coronavirus, click here.
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/uMhlathuze