Failure to enforce wearing of masks can get you a criminal record: Lamola

2020-07-14 12:54:00 AM

And if individual compliance does not improve, then the government may impose the same criminality on individuals who do not adhere to the mandatory wearing of masks.

The government's latest regulations have made it mandatory for everyone to wear a mask outdoors.“It's a decision that has not been taken lightly, but it has been necessitated by the various misdemeanours we have found.”Lamola said there are people who have previously defied orders to wear a mask in public, saying it was not the law. This has risked the lives of other members of public and law enforcement officials, he said.

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Co-operative governance & traditional affairs (Cogta) minister NkosazanaDlamini-Zuma said the matter was about protecting people and not criminalising them.“Our hope is that no one will ever have to be fined for not wearing a mask. Our hope is that no one will ever get a criminal record for not wearing a mask because everyone will wear a mask,” she said.

The ministers also explained the rationale behind the prohibition on visiting family members.“Visiting family is still not allowed because just by its very nature, when you get to a family place, the instinct is to come near, the instinct is to hug them, but also social distancing doesn't usually happen," Dlamini-Zuma.

More importantly, she said, the risk lies in the intergenerational nature of families, whereby younger people who move around and may be carrying the virus while asymptomatic could infect their elderly relatives.The family setting is also a space that has created a loophole for private parties, which have led to a spike in infections in various parts of the country, said Lamola. “It is also not an easy space to monitor and deal with issues of compliance from the enforcement perspective,” he added.

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Failure to enforce wearing of masks can get you a criminal record: LamolaFailure to enforce the wearing of a face mask could result in a criminal record for event organisers, store managers and other compliance officers, the government has warned.

Decision to criminalise the non-wearing of masks not an easy one – LamolaThose in charge of buildings at workplaces, churches, or even responsible for organising funerals, must ensure everyone wears a mask.