News | Opinion
As excuses go, the one used by Mpumalanga premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane, for failing to wear a face mask on Sunday at the funeral service of Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu, was right up there with the famous “firepool” once used to explain Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla swimming pool.
Mtsweni-Tsipane apologised for violating the regulations, saying it was an error as her face mask had fallen off and she hadn’t noticed.
Also, she claimed she was only without her mask for a brief period.
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However, a video from the event shows she walked into the venue without a mask and had to be reminded to wear one by Deputy President David Mabuza.
Now, there is supposedly going to be a police investigation – said to involve SA Police Service commissioner Khehla Sitole – because, according to Minister Bheki Cele, mask wearing is “non-negotiable”.
Whatever happens in the end – and we doubt there will be anything more than a mild slap on the wrist for the premier – it’s yet another example of the “Marie Antoinette syndrome” which appears to have infected many in the ANC leadership.
It seems to make them feel as if they are royalty and we (the peasants) are beneath both their comprehension and dignity.
READ MORE: Here’s proof that Mpumalanga premier was asked to wear mask at Mthembu’s funeral (video)
There have been a number of cases of ANC chiefs applying the “don’t do what I do, do as I tell you” principle, especially when it comes to adhering to Covid regulations.
The belief that they are somehow a special species was emphasised recently when Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, outraged at being quizzed on a walkabout tour about lack of housing delivery, threatened to lay criminal charges against her interrogator.
That she can legally do no such thing apparently escaped her “princess” mentality.
The ANC needs reminding: South Africa is our country and not your little fiefdom.
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