FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show People Violating Social Distancing Rules At Zindzi Mandela’s Funeral?

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows people violating social distancing guidelines at the funeral for Zindzi Mandela, South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark.

Verdict: False

The South African Police Service (SAPS) confirmed the video does not show Zindzi Mandela’s funeral service.

Fact Check:

Zindzi Mandela, the 59-year-old daughter of anti-apartheid leader and former South African President Nelson Mandela, served as South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark from 2015 until her death on July 13, according to BBC News. Her funeral was held on July 17 in Fourways, an area north of Johannesburg in the South African province of Gauteng, according to South African outlet SABC News.

The Facebook post claims in the caption that the video being shared shows mourners at her funeral violating social distancing guidelines. South Africa is currently at level three in its COVID-19 alert system, meaning that funeral gatherings must be limited to 50 people at this time, per the country’s online coronavirus resources portal.

“Zindsi Mandela’s funeral at fourways on Friday …. . no facemaks (sic) …. .100’s of people, not only 50…..no social distancing,” reads the video’s caption. “This is the government dictating that we may not visit our parents or children but we may we ride in a 100% fill taxi to their funeral???? How stuffing warped is this??”

But the video doesn’t show Zindzi Mandela’s funeral. SABC News footage from her memorial service shows different buildings in the background and a much smaller crowd wearing face masks. (RELATED: Does This Image Show A Crowded South African Beach During The COVID-19 Lockdown?)

Mathapelo Peters, a SAPS spokeswoman, confirmed in an email to the Daily Caller that the “video clip circulating on various social media platforms is certainly not from the funeral of the late Ms Zindzi Mandela.” In a statement to AFP Fact Check, she also said that police “were monitoring” Zindzi Mandel’s funeral so they “know exactly what happened there.”

The SAPS on July 19 released a statement cautioning the public not to flout COVID-19 mitigation policies after social media videos showed a funeral – not Zindzi Mandela’s – attended by more than 50 people in Soshanguve. At least two people were charged in connection with violating the guidelines, according to the press release.

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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