The Democratic Alliance (DA) says President Cyril Ramaphosa must set an example by firing and laying a criminal complaint against Communications and Digital Technologies Minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.
This comes after former Higher Education and Training Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana posted a picture on social media of Ndabeni- Abrahams, himself and others having lunch at his Fourways home in northern Johannesburg. This despite COVID-19 regulations, which prohibit social visits as the country grapples with the coronavirus outbreak.
Following a social media outcry on Tuesday, President Ramaphosa summoned the Minister to a meeting.
In a statement, the DA says the President’s move is simply not good enough.
“He must set an example as the President of South Africa that lawlessness while our country deals with a global pandemic will not be tolerated, regardless of from whom it comes. He therefore ought to lay a criminal complaint against Ndabeni-Abrahams, a person who he appointed as a Minister and member of his Cabinet, and he must go a further step by removing her from his Cabinet.”
The statement further states that, “President Ramaphosa addressed the nation twice asking South Africans to obey the law while containment strategies for COVID-19 were being implemented. The majority of the people of our country have done so with diligence. Many have lost jobs and incomes while staying at home as he requested. Some have been brutalised by security forces for not obeying the law.”
Below is the statement by DA on Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams:
Ndabeni-Abrahams went to collect supplies
The Mduduzi Manana Foundation has claimed in a statement that Ndabeni-Abrahams was visiting the Manana home to collect supplies of gloves, masks and sanitisers and was not simply just having lunch with the family.
The Foundation says the family was having lunch and courteously asked the Minister to join them after she arrived to pick up the items. Attempts to reach Manana directly for comment have so far been unsuccessful.
Full statement pic.twitter.com/qqi7Ac5C0l
— Mduduzi Manana (@MduduziManana_) July 25, 2018
The video below shows, COVID-19 in numbers:
Political analyst Ralph Mathekga says the photo showing Ndabeni-Abrahams purportedly breaking the national lockdown regulations is insensitive, and sends a wrong message to ordinary citizens.
Mathekga says Ndabani-Abrahams is undermining President Cyril Ramaphosa’s efforts to manage the coronavirus pandemic.
“The minister first of all she is enjoying food out there, I wonder the sensitivity at the moment when people are struggling at the moment when the poor are struggling to buy food, the minister is taking pictures showing food. She failed to show empathy with the people saying that I am not in with all of you in this.”