Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula said he will open case against Somizi Mhlongo for fake news and misinformation after making a joke on lockdown extension.
There is a video circulating onsocial media of Somizi telling his Metro FM colleague Dineo Ranaka that there would be a lockdown extension, just hours before it was officially announced by the president.
Mhlongo said he had heard the information from “Fikile”.
Ranaka abruptly cuts off her live broadcast as soon as Mhlongo confirmed it was Mbalula who he was referring to.
Mbalula distanced himself from the claims and in a statement shared on his Twitter page on early Friday morning, the department of transport announced that the minister would take action by opening a case against Mhlongo for contravening the government lockdown regulations.
“Minister Mbalula will be at Sandton Police Station Friday morning to report the contravention of the Government Lockdown Regulations as published under the Disaster Management Act on fake news and misinformation peddling,” it read.
Somizi apologised for the bad ‘joke’ and in the video, he says that he is just like everybody else, he had a hunch that the lockdown would be extended.
“I’m just like you, I did not know about it, I was just guessing. I think like everybody else I had a feeling that it was gonna be extended,” said Mhlongo.
Mbalula then informs the public that Somizi apologized and that he had accepted his apology. He made the radio presenter aware of his mistake and that had it been true, the consequences would be dire for the minister.