Mpumalanga Premier Mask

Photo: LK Mamabolo / Twitter

Mpumalanga premier buys 1 000 face masks to ‘demonstrate her remorse’

While the Mpumalanga premier submitted a statement of guilt for not wearing a mask, she has also bought face masks for the community.

Mpumalanga Premier Mask

Photo: LK Mamabolo / Twitter

On Monday 25 January, the Office of the Premier released a statement listing the steps that Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane had taken following her mask mishap at the late Jackson Mthembu’s funeral over the weekend.   

The premier was essentially spotted at the funeral, for a good amount of time, without a mask which no-doubt sparked outrage. Her spokesperson later claimed she didn’t realise there was no mask on her face. Think it’s safe to say that the social media streets were having none of it. 

While the Mpumalanga premier has submitted a “statement of guilt” at the Vosman Police Station in Emalahleni for her actions, she also said she bought 1 000 face masks. 


Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane said she took the time to reflect deeply on the “momentary lapse”. She went on to say that she regrets it profusely.

“I wish to take this opportunity once again to apologise to His Excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Deputy President of the Republic Mr David Mabuza, the Mthembu family, the people of Mpumalanga and the rest of the country. I should have known better as a public figure and more so attending a COVID-19 funeral,” she said. 

She, therefore, deposited a statement of guilt at the Vosman Police Station in Emalahleni and accepted the necessary fine and decided to go into isolation for a period of 14 days.

“To further demonstrate my remorse, I have bought a 1000 masks that will be distributed in Emalahleni as part of [a] public education and awareness campaign to demonstrate the serious nature of COVID-19,” the Mpumalanga premier said. 


Shortly after the funeral and public outrage, the Mpumalanga premier issued an apology, which many refused to accept. 

It read; 

“We note the images circulating on social media, wherein the Premier is seen without a mask as prescribed by the regulations: Upon arrival at the cemetery and disembarking from the vehicle, the Premier’s mask was damaged and she was oblivious that it had fallen off. The Premier believed that the mask was intact, as it had been through the proceedings.”

“Her aides promptly sought a replacement mask, which the premier used for the rest of the funeral. Mtsweni-Tsipane extends an apology for that momentary lapse, where her mask fell without her being aware of it. We emphasise the importance of adhering to the COVID-19 regulations, and urge people to wear masks constantly.”