Johannesburg – Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, the minister of communications and telecommunications, has paid an admission of guilt fine for contravening lockdown regulations the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) confirmed on Wednesday.
The NPA said the admission came after she was charged with contravening section 11 B of the disaster management act. She was summoned to appear at the Pretoria district court on May 22 and a fine of R1000 was issued.
Ndabeni-Abrahams paid the fine on Tuesday.
Ndabeni-Abrahams had contravened lockdown regulations when she visited former deputy higher education minister Mduduzi Manana’s home. She was photographed with Manana and other people having lunch at his home on April 5. The picture was posted on Manana’s Instagram page and was later deleted.
Manana had claimed that Ndabeni-Abrahams had visited his home to collect essential personal protective equipment she intended to distribute to learners in need.
The NPA said investigations revealed that the visit was not to render an essential service as per lockdown rules.
Ndabeni has been placed on suspension for two months by President Cyril Ramaphosa. One of the months will be unpaid. She was also ordered to make a public apology on the matter.
Ndabeni-Abrahams apologised publicly and asked South Africans to forgive her for violating lockdown rules.
“South Africans I would like to convey an apology to President Cyril Ramaphosa, the national command centre and the South African society at large for breaching lockdown regulations put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19.
“I met with the president yesterday after a photo was circulated on social media showing myself at the home of Mr Mduduzi Manana during the lockdown and social distancing period. I regret the incident and I am deeply sorry for my actions. I hope the president and you South Africans will find it in your hearts to forgive me,” Ndabeni said in a public video.
By Zintle Mahlati