PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has met with religious leaders regarding restrictions placed on public gatherings.

This comes after he declared the coronavirus a national state of disaster and one of the restrictions he listed was prohibition of a gathering of 100 or more people. This directly affects religious institutions.

He briefed the media after a closed-door meeting with religious leaders in Tshwane yesterday.

He said religious leaders had a huge impact on South Africans, most of whom are believers.

“We’re pleased they could be here with us and share their views,” he said.

“At the same time, we’re faced with the reality that the virus is spread through human contact.”

He said measures they adopted were in the public interest, and he thanked the leaders for their understanding.

“It’s necessary to clarify that the regulations around gatherings of over 100 people also apply to funerals,” he said.

“We call upon you to engage with bereaved families to impress upon them to confine the burial congregation to only close family wherever possible.”

Ramaphosa said the government appreciated that religious leaders cancelled Easter services.

“As religious leaders, you have shown your support for the national effort and we thank you for this.”

The South African Council of Churches’ Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana said the virus was worse than war.

He said it was good to see political leaders getting together to find a way to deal with the problem. He appealed to the people to come together as one.

  • Ramaphosa revealed that the number of coronavirus cases climbed to 150, but there had been no fatalities.
Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize and Reverend Frank Chikane at the meeting with religious leaders. Photos by Raymond Morare Photo by
MInister Nkosozana Zuma greeting Bishop Barnabas Lekganyane at presidential guest House during the meeting with the President Photos by Raymond Morare Photo by
Bishop Joseph Lekganyane of ST Engenas at the Presidential guest House during the meeting with the President. Photos by Raymond Morare Photo by