A bride, the groom, pastor, and at least 50 wedding guests were detained by the police in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, for defying the lockdown protocol that banned public assembly to stem the spread of COVID-19. Though the couple had planned the wedding event way before the lockdown was imosed, they decided to go with it instead of postponing the event amid restrictions, a local media outlet reported. Mayor of uMhlathuze, South Africa, Mduduzi Mhlongo, released an official statement citing the incident as a warning to the violators for flouting the social distancing measures, as per media reports.
The video of the incident was shared on Twitter, which sparked massive criticism from Netizens worldwide. In the footage, the police officers can be seen crashing the wedding. The bride and the groom can be seen directed inside the police van. According to the local media reports, all 50 guests were taken under arrest.
A couple arrested on their wedding day at Nseleni in KwaZulu-Natal for violating the lockdown rules and regulations as they decided not to postpone their big day 1 pic.twitter.com/lyWCpaTUT0— Mzilikazi wa Afrika (@IamMzilikazi) April 5, 2020
Mhlongo told the South African news agency that all those who attended the event, including the pastor who officiated the wedding, were arrested by the police. The move was to protect the people and make them aware of the coronavirus spread, the mayor clarified to the local media outlets. He said that the government intended to send a message that people had to stay at home, no matter what. The number of people contracting the COVID-19 disease is surging and anyone who would not follow the social distancing measure, and would discreetly assemble, will be strictly punished, he added.
The clip amassed over 32.9k views as users poured in a slew of comments lauding the prompt action by the cops. “I commend the cops for having not thrown her at the back of the van,” wrote a user, obviously aggravated. “They'll never forget their wedding day,” wrote another pointing out that it would be for their own good if people followed the measures that are integral to avoid contracting the disease.
The should have postponed the wedding... their ignorance has costed them 😢😢— Sgubh'umgodi (@sgubhu_mgodi) April 5, 2020
All people attended should have been arrested, they all dis not comply— Mabelemade (@THANDIW0711) April 5, 2020
They'll never forget their wedding day.😢😢😢— Pablo Matlipa Escobar (@MatlipaGP) April 5, 2020
Imagine...my perfect wedding for better for worse!— she black (@Queen_herai) April 5, 2020
Who snitched— LUCHULUMANCO NANTO - 🇿🇦 MINISTER OF YOUTH (@DrQabaka) April 5, 2020
That part killed me...😂😂😂— IG:clammyharambe (@clammy_harambe) April 5, 2020
This is really personal to me 💔— JP Maloka (@JP_Maloka) April 5, 2020
🤔yes. But it should not have happened to begin with. What were they thinking? It was very selfish to have the once in a lifetime event that people don’t want to miss. Even though all those guests choose to attend. 👨🏾⚖️👰🏾— Paula B. Navarette (@pbnavar) April 6, 2020
Honeymoon in prison..... sound like movie titles— 奥卢菲菲 👅💙🖤 (@oluwaphemmyade1) April 5, 2020
Good shot!— Thando Ziwele (@Tido247) April 5, 2020
Honeymoon in cells 😭— PHANUEL (@PHANUEL_SAMUELS) April 5, 2020
a shame but seriously... it's a pandemic!!— Noxi (@June4th) April 5, 2020