Not just GoodLuck & La Parada: 5 'superspreader' events that made headlines

15 December 2020 - 12:00 By unathi nkanjeni
Gauteng heath authorities said they had made significant progress in tracing pupils exposed to Covid-19 at the recent Rage Festival in Ballito in KwaZulu-Natal.
Gauteng heath authorities said they had made significant progress in tracing pupils exposed to Covid-19 at the recent Rage Festival in Ballito in KwaZulu-Natal.

Large gatherings and events have come under fire after it was revealed to be a leading cause of the country's second wave of Covid-19 infections.

Over the past few weeks, large gatherings dubbed “superspreaders” have been making the headlines for breaking Covid-19 regulations, including people not wearing masks and not keep social distancing rules.  

In his address on Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa warned that such reckless behaviour over the festive season could be disastrous for the country.

“In many of these gatherings, social distancing is not being observed, venues are crowded and not adequately ventilated, hand sanitiser is not readily available, and people are not wearing masks,” said Ramaphosa.  

“Many people consume alcoholic drinks at these ‘super-spreader’ events, with the result that people become less careful about taking measures to protect themselves and prevent infection.".  

Here are five “superspreader” events that have made headlines:

Rage Festival

The recent post-matric Rage Festival event in Ballito, KwaZulu-Natal, was identified as a “super-spreader” event after nearly 1,000 cases of Covid-19 were linked to it.

The Gauteng health department said it had made significant progress in tracing most pupils from the province who attended Rage.

Out of 1,322 pupils, mostly from the Johannesburg and Tshwane districts, 1,050 had undergone testing for Covid-19. Of those, 984 tested positive. What is yet to be determined is how many people each pupil has infected.

Riky Rick in Mpumalanga

Rapper Riky Rick made headlines after viral videos of his performance at the weekend showed partygoers breaking Covid-19 regulations.

In a video posted by the rapper, he could be seen on stage performing for a large number of people in Mpumalanga. People were seen squashed together and not wearing masks.

Speaking to TshisaLIVE, Riky Rick said he understood people's concerns, but to his knowledge he saw an environment in which people were sanitised and were there to have fun.

GoodLuck's performance at La Parada

Electronic band GoodLuck performed at La Parada in Constantia Nek, Cape Town.

In a video that went viral on social media, no-one was seen wearing a mask during the packed event on Sunday. There was also no adherence to social distancing.

In an apology statement, the band said: “We had nothing but the best of intentions going into Sunday's performance, and we are bitterly disappointed that things got out of control for even one minute. It is a massive reminder to stay vigilant.”

Nomcebo Zikode at News Cafe

Jerusalema hitmaker Nomcebo Zikode came under fire earlier in the lockdown after her show at a News Cafe in Limpopo sparked an investigation by the company after claims the event broke Covid-19 lockdown rules and put lives at risk.

In a video posted by Zikode on Twitter, the star was seen performing in the crowded venue.

At one point she could be seen leading a singalong, encouraging audience members to sing into her microphone. She was flanked by dancers who pressed up against her while she was performing.

Gauteng liquor outlets

Over the weekend, police shut down nine illegal liquor outlets and arrested more than 1,000 people in Gauteng.

The safer festive season operation was carried out in Soshanguve and Rietgat by provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Elias Mawela and Gauteng community safety MEC Faith Mazibuko.

"In Rietgat, police closed down a popular liquor outlet and arrested the owner after it was found to be operating after the prescribed time and not adhering to Covid-19 regulations.

“The place was packed with patrons who were not observing social distancing measures and not wearing masks,” said police spokesperson Capt Kay Makhubele.