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South Africans could face prison time for not wearing a mask

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South Africans who fail to wear a face mask in the midst of the Covid 19 pandemic may soon face a fine or even a prison sentence. On Monday, the government again called on citizens to heed his plea for wearing masks, to prevent the issue from being criminalized later.

Ronald Lamola, Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, said during a media conference of the national Covid-19 Command Council on Monday that many South Africans still do not wear face masks as there is no penalty for violating the relevant regulation.

According to Lamola, the owners of public premises such as shops or public transport can currently be held liable if one of their clients does not wear a mask. However, the government is now considering holding individuals personally accountable if they fail to wear a mask. However, no distinction is yet made between a fine or imprisonment if individuals violate this rule. According to the minister, the government is reluctant to criminalize the offense in question, but considering it, South Africans would not heed.

“It must become the norm. It should be an embarrassment not to wear a mask. It has to be cool to wear a mask, ”Lamola said.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, in turn, said that South Africans should not only wear masks to escape a fine, but rather to protect themselves and the public.

“Our hope is that no one will ever be fined for not wearing a mask and that no one will ever get a criminal record for that reason, precisely because everyone wears masks.”

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