President Cyril Ramaphosa says he has called a meeting with Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams over a picture circulating on social media that appears to show her enjoying lunch with former Deputy Higher Education Minister Mduduzi Manana in apparent violation of the lockdown rules.
The President was speaking in Johannesburg. “I have seen the picture of Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams seating with a number of friends and other people. I have asked her to come and see me and I’m going to have a discussion with her about the impact of visuals like those on what we are trying to do because we are trying to instill a clear message to all our people that social distancing is important. Let us stay at home. So yes, I will be having a discussion with the minister.”
The image has solicited widespread criticism on social media.
An important thing to note here: while MPs (she is one) are considered an essential service, visiting Mdu Manana (he is not a public representative) does NOT constitute the discharging of a duty related to her office. She mustn’t even try it with that excuse.
— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) April 7, 2020
The commoners shall endure #SALockdown while the elites and the ruling class enjoy each other's company and freedom of movement. No political judgment, no commitment to cease their sense of exceptionalism. President Ramaphosa must act on Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams #covid19SA pic.twitter.com/zHo9rOpyhC
— Lukhona (@LukhonaMnguni) April 7, 2020
President Ramaphosa says he will meet with Ndabeni Abrahams regarding the image.
#LockdownSA [WATCH] Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams seemingly in hot water. President Cyril Ramaphosa has asked for a meeting with her to explain a picture that went viral showing her DINING at the home of ANC NEC member Mdu Manana.#sabcnews pic.twitter.com/tUQtcf9ZQ8
— Chriselda 'Babes WeNdaba' Lewis ™️ (@Chriseldalewis) April 7, 2020
Meanwhile, veteran politician Mangosuthu Buthelezi has also added his voice to calls on people to respect the coronavirus lockdown regulations. Over 17 000 people countrywide have been arrested thus far for breaking the lockdown regulations.
At the weekend, 53 people were arrested in eNseleni, outside Richards Bay, for holding a wedding. In the video below, the bride is among those nabbed for failing to adhere to coronavirus regulations:
Buthelezi says it is unfortunate that some people are making a mockery of the situation on social media.
” We should all praise our head of state Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa for the step he has taken towards this pandemic. I think all our people should be united in listening what the government is saying because the government is saying this not to get votes, but in order to protect ourselves , all of us. We thank the Minister of Police in particular for the stance he has taken. It is a tragedy that in spite of this there are some of our people who really do not behave as if they see, that they themselves are in, who think this is a joke when it is not a joke at all.”