Citizen Reporter
Reporter
1 minute read
14 Apr 2020
1:22 pm

Somizi arrested and released on bail, says Mbalula

Citizen Reporter

Mbalula says he personally accepted the joke, but had to lay the charge so no one could accuse him of playing favourites.

Somizi Mhlongo. Picture Instagram

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has confirmed that choreographer, reality show star and presenter Somizi Mhlongo was arrested and released on bail.

Responding to ANC MP Boy Mamabolo, who asked the minister if Mhlongo had been arrested, Mbalula said: “He was arrested, he is on bail.”

Speaking at the Sandton Police Station on Friday morning, Mbalula explained that he had been obligated to lay criminal charges against Mhlongo for contravening government lockdown regulations.

Somizi landed Mbalula in hot water following a “bad joke”. His co-host Dineo Ranaka went live on Instagram while she was in studio with him and they were discussing what they thought President Cyril Ramaphosa would announce in his address on Thursday night, when Somizi made a comment that implied he knew what was going to be announced before the rest of the country.

“Today they’re announcing the extension. I was talking to Fikile,” said Somizi, before Dineo went offline after confirming that the Fikile in question was the minister.

Following the backlash, Somizi took to social media to clarify he had just made the statement to “scare” Dineo about the extended lockdown. He said he had not spoken to Mbalula about it, and his comment had merely been speculation based on his observations.

He further apologised to Mbalula for the “bad joke”.

Mbalula said he personally accepted the joke, but it was important that he lay the charge so no one could accuse him of playing favourites, even though Somizi is his friend.

READ MORE: ‘I don’t know if he’s a sangoma.’ Mbalula explains why he’s charged his ‘friend’ Somizi

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.