Police Ministry expresses regret at the blasphemous remarks captured on video during arrest
April 26, 2020
Pretoria, South Africa: Police Minister, General Bheki Cele has apologised to the Muslim community after a video clip which was being circulated on Social Media showing 24 worshippers being blasphemed during an arrest made on the 25th of April 2020.
They were arrested in Masibekela, in the Mbuzini area, in Mpumalanga for contravening the COVID-19 Disaster Management Lockdown Regulations in relation to the prohibition of gatherings.
The Police Ministry said in a statement: "Minister Cele has issued an apology to the Muslim community for the blasphemous remarks during the arrest, a matter that is currently under an urgent investigation by the SAPS to establish the identity of the person behind such sacrilege."
"Minister Cele wishes to emphasize that police have a constitutional obligation to enforce the laws of the country, a duty to be executed within the confines of the same laws, applied with no prejudice against any gender, race or creed," read the the statement.
The Habibia Soofie, Saheb Badsha, Peer Darbaar (HSSBPD) institution, an organisation representing the Muslim community said in a statement: " The few that oppose the law should be dealt with in accordance with the law of the country and they understand that the SANDF and SAPS are discharging their duties accordingly, but they shouldn't transgress on the constitutional rights of South Africans.
"The video that went viral of the Police entering a Mosque where the rules and regulations of the Lockdown were violated , the police had the right to hold them accountable but with respect and compassion to their religious rights.
"Based on his most purest of teachings , We the Muslim community adhered to the command of South Africa’s Honourable President regarding the closure of Congregational Prayers as our Prophets ( Peace and Salutations be upon him ) teachings instructs us to respect the laws of ours and do no harm unto others," it read.
The organisation also stated they understand some Muslims have disobeyed these laws and should be held accountable , but with respect , kindness and compassion as per the instructions to the relative authorities.