Pretoria – The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) on Tuesday called on Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams to apologise to South Africans for “a grandiose display” of flouting government’s Covid-19 lockdown regulations.
“This is not a time for double-standards and for ‘displays’ of leadership in adhering to lockdown regulations. The global Covid-19 pandemic requires true, genuine and honest leadership which unites all of us to obey the law and to slow down the transmission of the novel coronavirus,” said Zandile Majozi, IFP’s spokesperson on communications and digital technologies.
“Ministers are not above the law and the regulations. Luncheons and gatherings at friends or family are in contravention of the gazetted regulations of the lockdown. Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams, cabinet and all other members of the executive must walk their talk in ensuring that what they say to South Africans is consistent with what they do.”
Concerned South Africans expressed shock and disappointment with Ndabeni-Abrahams’ possible violation of the stringent lockdown regulations aimed at curtailing the spread of the virus.
Former deputy minister of higher education Mduduzi Manana shared a photo of the two, along with others, having a meal at his home. The photo also showed Ndabeni-Abrahams, who Manana described as a friend, seated at the table and having a meal.
The photo was posted on Instagram and has since been deleted by Manana.
Speaking to journalists after a visit to Rand Water, president Cyril Ramaphosa said he had seen the photograph and has asked his communications minister to meet with him.
“I have asked her to come and see me, so she is going to come and see me, and I am going to have a discussion with her about the impact of visuals like those on what we are trying to do. We are trying to instil a clear message to all our people that social distance is important, let us stay at home, let us not be going around with visitations. If you have to, it has to be work related,” said Ramaphosa.
Majozi said the IFP would monitor the outcome of Ramaphosa’s meeting with Ndabeni-Abrahams.
“We welcome President Cyril Ramaphosa’s swift intervention in reprimanding Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams and will monitor the outcome of their meeting. President Cyril Ramaphosa should request that Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams apologises and commits to the regulations,” she said.
“Many South Africans are subjected to uncomfortable circumstances and heightened anxiety and therefore should be comforted that government and the global community are committed and all in this fight against the spread of Covid-19 together.”
The IFP urged citizens to remain at home during the lockdown period.
South Africa is going through a 21-day national lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19. The country had at least 1 686 confirmed infections and 12 deaths as of Monday night.
The lockdown is accompanied by a string of regulations that limit the movements of citizens, who are expected to stay at home unless they are shopping for food or performing essential services.
African News Agency (ANA)
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By Jonisayi Maromo