South Africa: Cele Apologises to Muslim Community

South African Police shut down spaza shops in Govan Mbeki Township in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Police Minister Bheki Cele has issued an apology to the Muslim community for blasphemous remarks made by an officer during the arrest of worshippers at a Mosque on Saturday.

The video of the arrest, where a police officer can be heard making the remarks during the arrest in Masibekela, Mpumalanga, has been doing the rounds on social media. Police had initially said the arrest was made in Pretoria.

The group of worshippers was arrested for contravening the COVID-19 Disaster Management Lockdown Regulations, which prohibit gatherings, including religious assembly.

"Minister Cele has issued an apology to the Muslim community for the blasphemous remarks during the arrest, a matter that is currently under an urgent investigation by the SAPS to establish the identity of the person behind such sacrilege," acting Police Ministry spokesperson, Brigadier Mathapelo Peters, said in a statement.

Peters said the police have a constitutional obligation to enforce the laws of the country, a duty to be executed within the confines of the same laws, applied with no prejudice against any gender, race or creed.

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