South Africa’s Minister Who Flouted Lockdown Rules Sent On Leave

Cyril Ramaphosa delivers a speech during his inauguration as South African President, at Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria, on May 25, 2019.

 

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday placed on special leave a minister seen lunching at a friend’s house in violation of the coronavirus lockdown.

Ramaphosa has ordered a three-week national lockdown to try to break the virus, which has infected 1,749 people, killing 13 of them, according to an official tally.

But a picture posted on Instagram on Sunday showed Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams having lunch with five other people at the home of a former deputy minister earlier that day.

“President Ramaphosa has placed the Minister on special leave for two months,” the presidency said in a statement.

Ramaphosa has “accepted the minister’s apology for the violation but was unmoved by mitigating factors she tendered,” it said.

“The nation-wide lockdown calls for absolute compliance on the part of all South Africans,” Ramaphosa was quoted as saying.

“None of us -– not least a member of the national executive -– should undermine our national effort to save lives in this very serious situation,” said Ramaphosa. “No-one is above the law.”

READ ALSO: Ethiopia Declares State Of Emergency Over Coronavirus

Shortly after the president’s statement, the minister issued an apology.

“I regret the incident and I am deeply sorry for my actions,” said Ndabeni-Abrahams in a statement issued through her ministry. “I hope the president and South Africans will find it in their hearts to forgive me.”

“I wish to use this opportunity to reiterate the President’s call for all of us to observe the lockdown rules. They are a necessary intervention to curb the spread of a virus that has devastated many nations.”

Last month, just two days into the lockdown, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu was forced to issue an apology after she posted a video on her Instagram account, joking about how she was struggling to stay home.

AFP

Anthonia Orji

Disqus Comments Loading...

Recent Posts

  • Business
  • World News

Pandemic May Cause Africa’s 1st Recession In 25 Years – World Bank

  The World Bank on Thursday warned sub-Saharan Africa could slip into its first recession in a quarter of century…

5 mins ago
  • Local

Allow Judges Hear Applications Via Skype, Falana Writes CJN

  A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has written to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Hon. Justice I.T.…

44 mins ago
  • Local

Bayelsa, Taraba Relax Lockdown Few Days To Easter

    The Bayelsa State Government has relaxed the COVID-19 lockdown few days to the Easter celebrations to enable Christians…

47 mins ago
  • Local

COVID-19: Sanwo-Olu, Health Commissioner, Others Commission 110 Bed Spaces

  The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Commissioner of Health, Professor Akin Abayomi on Wednesday commissioned 110-bed spaces…

59 mins ago
  • Coronavirus
  • World News

US Pharmacies Authorised To Test For COVID-19

  The US authorized pharmacies on Wednesday to carry out tests for the coronavirus, including newly developed antibody tests that…

1 hour ago
  • Coronavirus
  • World News

Global COVID-19 Cases Top 1.5 million

  More than 1.5 million cases of the novel coronavirus have been registered worldwide, according to a tally compiled by…

2 hours ago