The Emperor’s New Clothes

 In Uncategorized

Herewith follows a short account, detailing verbatim what Michael and I have been up to in the last couple of days.

It makes for a good read and will put a smile on your face. Enjoy with your morning beverage. Take care not to snort-laugh the beverage out your nose 🙂

First contact 06/05/22:

Dear Owner

It has been brought to our attention that you are continuing to not wear your mask on the common property.

The wearing on masks in public places, in this case the common property, is mandatory as per the Government Gazette, dated 4 th May 2022.

Regulation 16A (3) states as follows:

“A person MUST, when entering and being inside an indoor public space, wear a face mask”.

Kindly adhere to this request, failing which the Trustees will take further action.

Laverne’s response 09/05/2022:


Greetings  Name removed for privacy

Thank you for your email, I hope you are well.

Wow we live in strange times right now and there are these strange practices going on. 

I apologise for creating controversy with the members of staff in the building. This controversy is because I have not expressed myself or my intent clearly. It is on me to bring remedy to the situation and if a claim of harm exists, I hope that the man or woman who experienced harm will come forth and allow me the opportunity to remove controversy and bring forth remedy.

I write this correspondence to you to let you know that i, a woman will not be participating in the act of covering my face on the common property of the quadrant building, as it causes me harm to do so. 

I will be corresponding with you through email. I will also send these correspondences by registered mail.

I ask, are these all the members of the board of trustees:

Names removed for privacy

I will need their contact details as I may also be corresponding with them individually.

I ask, will registered mail reach yourself and the above members at this address:

Address, address.

Please feel free to contact me at any time, here is my number: 083 449 3639, or you can email me.

I send this with the intent of resolving this matter peacefully, without controversy.

by: Laverne Lindenberg, a woman.

Michael’s response 13/05/2022:


Greetings Name removed for privacy
I trust this finds you well. And thank you for your email dated 6th May 2022. 

I apologise for creating controversy by not wearing my mask last week whilst using the common area of the Quadrant building. At the time the transitional measures had lapsed. Thanks for bringing the new government gazette to my attention. 

Thank you also for having my best interest at heart. As I stated in my previous email dated 13th February 2022, wearing of a mask causes me psychological and emotional distress and I have engaged in this for the last two years at personal cost. 

I write this correspondence to you just to let you know that i, a man, do not consent to the order of wearing a mask on the common property of the quadrant building, as it causes me harm. 

I don’t believe i, a man, have done wrong or harm, but as an honourable man I would like to bring forth remedy if a claim of harm exists. 

I will be corresponding with you through email. I will also send these correspondences by registered mail. 

Should you feel that I need to contact the board of trustees personally then please forward me their contact details. 

I send this with the intent of resolving this matter peacefully, without controversy. 

by: (Michael) Meow Yin Low, a man. 

Email 12/05/2022:

Dear Michael and Laverne,
Your various correspondences to the Managing agents refer. 

The current legal situation with regard to the wearing of masks in a public place is clear and unambiguous – as published in the Government Gazette – National Health Act 61 of 2003 as amended – Regulations 16A, 2060 of 4 May 2022. 

We have during the course of this pandemic taken legal advice as to the responsibility of the Body Corporate to ensure adherence of the various regulations issued by Government and confirm : 


The body corporate (represented by the trustees) must take all reasonable steps to ensure that an occupier does not contravene the law. 

NATIONAL HEALTH ACT 61 of 2003 – REGULATION 16A of 2060 of 4 May 2022 

“(3) A person must, when entering and being inside an indoor public place, wear a face mask.”
Enforcement thereof : “Any person who contravenes such regulations shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction, liable to a fine or imprisonment not exceeding 6 months or both.” 

The trustees accordingly have issued notices and directives ie taken reasonable steps to ensure compliance and we confirm that internal common property ie basements, passages, lobbies, lifts etc are deemed to be public indoor places as defined by the Regulations. 

It is also noted that the vast majority of residents in the Quadrant have complied with the regulations over the past 2 years in the spirit of good neighbourliness and the interest of the control of the spread of the virus. 

We, the Trustees of the entity, entity , cannot under any circumstances, condone your disregard of the regulations and are obliged to continue to instruct management and security staff to enforce same.
In the event that there is non-compliance the trustees will consider necessary steps – including the levying of fines – in an attempt to enforce the regulations and, in the event of repeated non-compliance – any further action as required of them by the authorities – which may require laying of a criminal complaint against you. 

We further confirm that we cannot prevent any resident or staff member from laying a criminal complaint against you and would in such instance have to provide the complainant / authorities with available corroborating evidence as might be requested. 

We trust you will review your objection in the light hereof. 

TRUSTEES of The Entity, Entity

Laverne’s response 18/05/2022:


18 May 2022

Dear Name removed for privacy

Thank you for your email dated 12/05/2022. It has certainly helped in clarifying a few key points.

I understand that you are looking out for the tenants and staff who live and work in the building and it is in this spirit that I will share what I have learned in the last few days.

Your email prompted me to visit the local police station in an effort to discover if it is indeed a criminal offence to not wear a mask. It was an interesting visit to say the least. I noted as I arrived that people, including policemen, entering and exiting the station where dressed in a range of face coverings. From non at all to fully masked and everything in between. The police were not commenting on any of it.

As I was briefly relaying my story to the officer at the front desk, I hadn’t even finished it when the police officer exclaimed: ‘where’s the crime?’ ‘There’s no crime, the country is free, you can do whatever you want.’ The policeman stated that these regulations written in this particular act are a suggestion. Nothing more.

When I showed him the regulation excerpt part of your email, he said that he had never seen a document like that. It seems you added the enforcement part? I have been unable to find any government document which matches the excerpt in your email.

He also went on to ask a very interesting question: ‘Who told him to do that?’ He was asking who authorised you to enforce this regulation. Although enforcing a suggestion seems like an odd thing to do no?

This promoted me to further investigate legal codes, acts statutes etc issued by the government. It appears that in order to enforce the above one would need to hold a position in an office of state eg: judge, premier, minister and so forth. Or perhaps be acting under direct orders from such an official.

It also seems that to misrepresent yourself as such a person, or a person with this authority is overreach at best, fraud at worst. 

As mentioned above, I share this in the spirit of finding the best solution going forward. Non of this is meant as a threat or accusation. It is an attempt at discovering what is true.

I again extend my invitation to any man or woman who feels I have done them wrong to please come forward, as I would like the opportunity to make remedy or compensation if this is required.

As this is an extremely evocative situation that we may have difficulty resolving amongst ourselves, perhaps we should consider CSOS mediation. Do you think this is necessary? Could we benefit from this?

I look forward to your response.

By: Laverne Lindenberg, a woman.

Michael’s 2nd correspondence, not sent:


Dear Name removed for privacy,

Thank you so much for your email dated 12th May 2022. I realised that the Body Corporate has the interest of its tenants. At the same time, I would like to share with you my findings in the points you raised.

You mentioned Regulation 16A (3) stating that everyone who enters a building must wear a face mask. You have also included the following:

Enforcement thereof : “Any person who contravenes such regulations shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction, liable to a fine or imprisonment not exceeding 6 months or both.”

Please can you kindly provide me with link or an official government pdf to the above? I have looked through the latest government health act and cannot find it. I surmise that this enforcement paragraph that you have included may been taken from an earlier version of the health act during the state of disaster, which has already been lifted on the 4th April 2022. 

I have also looked into many online social media forums where South African citizens share their experiences of life during this ‘transitional period’ we are currently in. All the comments I have read in regards to the wearing of mask indoor points to the regulation being ‘recommendations’ or ‘advisory’. Furthermore, Laverne’s feedback from her own interaction with police officers state that it is not a criminal offence should one decided not to wear mask indoor.

I would also like to share with you an interview given by the Deputy Director General of Health Dr Nicholas Crisp talking about the new regulations on 702 with Bongani Bingwa (aired on May 5th 7:44am). I have taken the trouble to transcribe the following (so you don’t have to):

‘You can’t regulate for everything and it is not our intention to put everybody into a specifically defined hole. That would be unreasonable and that is not really the way which we would like to see society evolving. We would like to see people take responsibility for themselves, that’s why is not an offence anymore to not do these things. They are regulations but we would ask people to use… [you know] there is quite a lot of common sense involved when you know you are getting into an environment where it is potentially dangerous, where there is a lot of people at risk, for instance a lot more old people around, who get a bigger chance of more severe infection or so forth. So using the regulation as the measure and using a lot of common sense around it [them] to behave in those circumstances.’

With the above findings I conclude that the man or woman who have given you the information in your email have now misrepresented the board of trustee. I say this in the most respectful manner as I would like to share my findings with you in the hope that we can find an amicable solution going forward.

If there is any man or woman in building who feels that I have done them wrong then I invite them to please come forward so I can have the opportunity to make remedy or compensation.

By: (Michael) Meow Yin Low, a man 

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