Political analyst Doctor Lubna Nadvi says the KwaZulu-Natal government should have given Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane a harsher punishment after contravening the lockdown regulations.
A video showing Simelane at a party without a mask and in a large group of people went viral on social media. Premier Sihle Zikalala announced that Simelane’s September salary will be docked by 50 percent and paid to an NGO that is fighting COVID-19.
KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala has announced that 50 percent of Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane Zulu's salary will be docked in next payment cycle for breaking COVID-19 rules.
She also has 7 days to issue an apology.
— Chriselda Zozi Lewis (Babes Wendaba) (@Chriseldalewis) August 28, 2021
Nadvi says the rules that apply to ordinary citizens should apply to all government officials including the MEC.
“She is being subjected to some form of punishment. It is important, with some of her salary being docked, that is appropriate. Ordinary citizens are being arrested if they don’t follow the COVID-19 guidelines and she is also a citizen of the country so the same rules should apply to citizens as well as public officials because the law is meant to be equal for all.”
Zikalala failed to take decisive actions against KZN Health MEC: DA
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu-Natal said Zikalala failed to take decisive actions against Simelane.
DA KwaZulu-Natal Chief Whip Zwakele Mncwango says, “Considering that we’re living in South Africa where already there are examples where senior members in government have found to be in defiance of regulations like Stella Ndabeni at the national level who was actually suspended without pay, think for two or three months. Now, I expected the Premier to understand that Stella is not really at the forefront of the pandemic but here we’ve got the MEC who should be leading and he failed to be decisive and he failed to lead. It’s a wrong message to society because we gonna spread this virus that we’re all worried about it again. The Premier said the MEC showed remorse, the MEC didn’t show remorse.”