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Mbalula: Somizi's comments have serious consequences

The criminal complaint laid against Somizi Mhlongo relates to the contravention of government lockdown regulations as published under the Disaster Management Act on fake news and misinformation peddling.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula at the Sandton Police Station on 10 April 2020. Picture: @MbalulaFikile/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has officially laid a criminal complaint against media personality Somizi Mhlongo at the Sandton Police Station.

Mhlongo was seen in a video claiming that Mbalula had told him that the nationwide lockdown was going to be extended before President Cyril Ramaphosa made an announcement to the nation.

While Mhlongo has since apologised, Mabalula said that he did not view the comments lightly as the country worked to try and curb the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The criminal complaint laid against Somizi Mhlongo relates to the contravention of government lockdown regulations as published under the Disaster Management Act on fake news and misinformation peddling.

Mbalula said that despite having known Mhlongo for some time, his comments had serious consequences.

Mbalula addressed members of the media outside the Sandton Police Station on Friday morning.

"Something was said about me when I was not present. It has a direct bearing on the regulations in terms of breaking the law."

He said that as a member of the executive, he should be seen practicing what government preached and not otherwise.

"There must be no doubt on my bona fides in relation to information that could be disclosed to me as a person and as a Cabinet minister."

The case has now been taken over by the police.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.