82 fined after Eid al-Fitr prayers in contravention of lockdown regulations

Eighty-two worshippers were apprehended by police on Monday after gathering for a prayer service in Modimolle, Limpopo.
Eighty-two worshippers were apprehended by police on Monday after gathering for a prayer service in Modimolle, Limpopo. 
Image: Provided

Eighty-two worshippers have been fined after gathering for a prayer service in Modimolle, Limpopo, in contravention of Covid-19 lockdown regulations. 

The group, who are members of the Muslim community, had been celebrating Eid.

National police spokesperson Brig Vishnu Naidoo said the group were arrested after police received a complaint.

They were arrested under disaster management regulations prohibiting gatherings of more than 50 people.

Naidoo said the group had been released after each paying a R1,500 admission of guilt fine.

Modimolle mayor Marlene van Staden said she had been dismayed by the incident.

“ [Monday] is one of the most important days in the Muslim religious calendar and I was dismayed to hear that people were arrested while they were gathered in prayer.

“While the lockdown regulations currently prohibit large gatherings, it is unfortunate that the situation led to the arrest of this religious community, who [were then placed in] even closer proximity to each other at the police station,” she said.

She urged religious communities to adhere to safety protocols.

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