The KwaZulu-Natal government has refuted allegations by the Democratic Alliance (DA) that Premier Sihle Zikalala had contravened the national lockdown regulations during a site visit to Clairwood Hospital, south of Durban.

The DA’s Central Constituency Head, Dianne Kohler-Barnard, formally laid a charge against the premier, accusing Zikalala of holding an illegal gathering.

During the visit, Zikalala and government officials gathered with essential workers, including police and healthcare workers, to accept a donation of medical equipment.

Provincial government Spokesperson, Lennox Mabaso, says the Premier undertook an inspection of the facility to ensure it will be ready for the isolation and quarantine of COVID-19 patients.

“The Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Sihle Zikalala and member of the Provincial Command Council today undertook the  routine work of the command council and visited Clairwood Hospital. The premier conducted an inspection on loco to assess the progress the province is making in ensuring that the facilities are ready for quarantining those who are sick and for isolating those who had tested positive for COVID-19. This was not a gathering as contemplated by the lockdown regulations. The provincial government of KwaZulu-Natal has to remind everyone that spreading fake news in order to hold headlines during this lockdown is a violation of regulations,” says Mabaso.

In this video, KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala breaks down the provincial COVID-19 cases

Earlier, Kohler-Barnard said no gatherings are allowed to take place.

“No gatherings may take place unless it’s a funeral and it most certainly was not a funeral and Premier Zikalala had no right to hold such an event, especially in light that the police are picking up civilians all over KwaZulu-Natal on the most ridiculous charges like going to buy a loaf of bread or going to pick up their mother at a hospital. These are ridiculous charges. We’re living in jail in our homes and he feels he has the right to hold a public gathering he may not.”

In this video, KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala says residents might be on lockdown for longer