Cigarette ban: Senior SANDF officials caught smoking at Mlangeni funeral

Someone alert Bheki Cele, we've got a few troublemakers to report: Three high-ranking SANDF officials were spotted having a smoke during the funeral of Andrew Mlangeni, and they have seemingly contravened the laws set out by the government's controversial cigarette ban.

Cigarette ban: Are we allowed to smoke in public?


Not only is the sale of tobacco products currently prohibited in South Africa, but those caught smoking in public have been promised a hard time from law enforcement.


Police Minister Cele has previously told the cops of South Africa to question people if they're seen with cigarettes, and stated that a failure to prove the purchase was legal could lead to criminal charges.

SANDF officials seen smoking at Mlangeni funeral


His authoritarian stance hasn't been strongly enforced, but if the law of the land applies, it should apply to all. Rolling news coverage of the Andrew Mlangeni funeral service caught the candid moment on camera – much to the incandescence of Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) chairperson Sinenhlanhla Mnguni:



Watch the smoking SANDF group here:



Is this a contravention of the cigarette ban?


Are these senior representatives committing a crime? It's hard to say. There's a chance they could be smoking cigarettes that were purchased four months ago, even if its an unlikely scenario. But either way, given the current climate, it's a thoughtless move that only serves to inflame frustrations with the lockdown.


Incredibly, this isn't the first time that the Mlangeni memorial service has led to accusations of exceptionalism. On Tuesday, crowds of ANC members and supporters gathered in Soweto to pay their respects – but a lack of social distancing and a high numbers of attendees sparked outrage online. Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula says the incident was 'blown out of proportion', but carelessness continues to follow this procession.