SOUTH Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Tuesday that religious gatherings will be permitted under Level 3 lockdown, but even those politicians advocating for a softer lockdown have questions about the rules of religious gatherings at Level 3, claiming ‘church is not essential’.
According to measures announced by the South African Government, churches and other places of worship will face strict social-distancing regulations.
However, the reaction towards the decision has been fierce, and the president has had to withstand a barrage of insults overnight.
This is after the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) consulted with religious leaders, and took into consideration several recommendations made in the meeting.
Initially due to address the nation on Wednesday, the lockdown briefing was postponed for the second time in two days.
In his address on Tuesday, the president touched on what has been a contentious issue, the prohibition of large gatherings under hard lockdown, which affected religious congregations.
Ramaphosa announced that religious gatherings will be allowed to resume, but only if they are limited to under 50 people.
COLD REACTION TO RAMAPHOSA’S RULES FOR RELIGIOUS GATHERINGS
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“Now, what about all those with COVID-19 who will be flocking to the church to ask for healing. Beyond Holy water & anointing oil, is the laying of hands… by faith.
“They have surrendered the country to COVID-19! Bloody spineless, old, outdated, tired, and directionless bunch of ANC so-called leaders!”
“How will a church determine which 50 people must come to church? And when the Holy Spirit enters a person, or makes a person fall, how will they ensure social distancing? It has collapsed!
“He does not care anymore!! There is no leadership in this county. We truly are on our own!”
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“You can go to church but you can’t get your hair cut? How does this make sense anymore?
“We would love to see where on government’s scientific COVID-19 model it plots the opening of churches and religious gatherings vs restaurants and hairdressers.”
FF PLUS ACKNOWLEDGE THE DECISION ‘MUST BE STUDIED’
“This has always been the Freedom Front Plus stance in the position that churches and religious gatherings, just like businesses, that can meet health rules should be allowed to keep operating services.
“However, we will look at what details are in the regulations and whether it is practical.”
The measures announced by President Ramaphosa take effect from 1st June.