Bride, Groom, Pastor and All 50 Wedding Guests Arrested for Violating Coronavirus Lockdown

On Sunday, a bride, groom, pastor and 50 wedding guests were arrested in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, for violating the country's coronavirus lockdown, which includes a nationwide ban on public gatherings.

Local police arrived to the wedding after they were given a tip by a whistleblower.

"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," wrote African journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika on his Twitter, with a video of the couple getting into the police car.

Following the arrests, Mduduzi Mhlongo, the mayor of uMhlathuze, South Africa, where the wedding took place, released a statement criticizing the people for violating the coronavirus lockdown.

"We arrested 50 people at an illegal wedding at eNseleni. We also arrested a pastor who was officiating at the ceremony and all those who were in attendance. We want to make an appeal to our people to listen to what the government is saying. The number of people infected with the coronavirus is increasing and that is why it is so important for people to stay at home. We commend those who have listened to the instructions," said Mhlongo, according to the South African news agency, Independent Media.

The arrests come amid one of the strictest coronavirus lockdowns the world has seen in South Africa. The lockdown has banned all nonessential movements across the country, including a ban on buying cigarettes and alcohol.

According to a tracker provided by Johns Hopkins University, there are over 1,600 confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa and at least 11 deaths. While the lockdown in the country is extremely strict, according to BBC, South African correspondents say that the country's response to the virus has been "ruthlessly efficient."

Coronavirus in South Africa
Two men walk across Long Street, usually one of the busiest and most popular entertainment areas with bars, clubs and restaurants in the city, with a billboard reading Stay Home, in Cape Town on April 3. According to BBC, South African correspondents say that the country's response to the virus has been "ruthlessly efficient." Rodger Bosch/Getty

Another similar incident occurred just last week, with a second couple being arrested for organizing a wedding during the coronavirus lockdown in South Africa.

The couple was arrested just moments after they said their vows and the guests were about to enjoy the party. According to Independent Media, the arrests were also made in KwaZulu-Natal and were granted bail shortly after.

On a global scale, the new coronavirus, which causes the respiratory disease COVID-19, has continued to infect people in a number of different countries. According to the tracker, there are over 1.2 million cases worldwide and over 70,000 deaths.

The U.S. has become the virus's epicenter, with over 350,000 cases and over 10,000 deaths.

On the other hand, over 271,000 people have recovered from the virus.