Mayor of Joburg Herman Mashaba has apologised to fellow South Africans for using Ebola as a potential threat after spotting a man pushing a trolley full of cow heads in the Joburg city centre.
Mashaba says he believes he could've handled the matter differently. However, he believes the health of the people should take precedence.
Part of the criticism was that instead of arresting the man, Mashaba could have assisted the man in how to transport the cow heads in a more hygienic manner and how to adhere to the city's bylaws.
Mashaba agrees that the informal traders within the city need some kind of support and help run successful businesses.
The only way we are going to assist our people to grow is for us to help them formalise their businesses.— Herman Mashaba, Joburg Mayor
For me, the only thing that was scary about this is the health risk...— Herman Mashaba, Joburg Mayor
When asked about the whereabouts of the man who was arrested, Mashaba says he left him in the hands of the JMPD and the health inspectors and due to his busy schedule he hasn't done any follow-up on the matter.
He says during the arrest it was discovered that the man is a Zimbabwean citizen who is in the country illegally.
I left him with the police because this matter has nothing to do with me as to what happened to him I haven't really followed up.— Herman Mashaba, Joburg Mayor
I have to be very careful as the executive mayor not to interfere with our criminal justice system. We might be in trouble if we as politicians start interfering directly in deciding who should be charged and who shouldn't.— Herman Mashaba, Joburg Mayor
Mashaba says after this incident, he has taken a decision to send out city officials to speak to informal traders within Johannesburg to ensure that they comply with the city's bylaws.
He says he is doing everything in his powers to sort out Johannesburg's issues and to ensure that informal traders operate within the law.
To hear the rest of the conversation with Herman Mashaba, listen below: