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Cele confirms Mtsweni-Tsipane now has criminal record over mask incident

This week, Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane paid the R1,500 fine at her local police station in Emalahleni after she was caught on camera without a mask while attending late Minister Jackson Mthembu's funeral on Sunday.

Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane delivers the welcoming remarks during the official service for Minister Jackson Mthembu. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Police Minister Bheki Cele has clarified that Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane now has a criminal record for not wearing a mask.

This week, Mtsweni-Tsipane paid the R1,500 fine at her local police station in Emalahleni after she was caught on camera without a mask while attending late Minister Jackson Mthembu's funeral on Sunday.

At first, she tried to defend herself, with her spokesperson claiming it was human error and that the premier didn't realise that the mask had somehow fallen off her face.

But after massive backlash from the public, she paid her fine and apologised.

Cele's spokesperson Lirandzu Themba: "The premier paid a J534 fine at a police station and was processed and her fingerprints were taken as per the normal South African Police Service process. This fine is known as an admission of guilt and results in a criminal record."

Over 13,000 people have been arrested for failing to wear a mask in public since the adjusted level three lockdown kicked in.

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