President Cyril Ramaphosa appears to have heeded a call from South Africans to rein in Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams for allegedly violating lockdown rules.
“I have seen the picture of Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams sitting at the luncheon. I have asked her to come and see me, and I am going to have a discussion with her about the impact of the visuals,” he said yesterday.
ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte has also called on ANC senior members to observe the lockdown rules and set the example, and not take photos if they’re not doing so.
This after former deputy minister of higher education and training Mduduzi Manana shared a picture of himself and Ndabeni-Abrahams, along with others, having a meal at his house.
According to the 21-day lockdown regulations implemented by government, people are only allowed to go to stores to get essential items or if they are rendering essential services. They should not be going to each other’s houses for a bite to eat.
According to the picture posted, and later deleted by Manana, Ndabeni-Abrahams stopped by Manana’s house for a meal on her way back from “executing” essential services.
He wrote: “It was great to host a former colleague and dear sister Cde Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams [minister of communications and digital technologies] on her way back from executing essential services required for the effective functioning of our country during the nationwide lockdown.”
People have called on Ramaphosa to take action against the minister amid this lockdown that has seen thousands of South Africans being arrested for disobeying the regulations.
Manana told Jacaranda FM: “I think the minister must respond for herself because I was home and she was working nearby, so it was not dinner per se.”
Democratic Alliance MP Phumzile van Damme said she would be writing to Ramaphosa to take action against the minister.
“We will be writing to the president about Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams breaking lockdown rules. She is a leader and must set an example. I hope he takes strong action against her,” she said.
“An important thing to note is while MPs [Ndabeni-Abrahams is one] are considered an essential service, visiting Mdu Manana does not constitute the discharging of a duty related to her office. She mustn’t even try that excuse.”
In 2018 Manana announced through his foundation that he was voluntarily resigning as an MP for the ANC despite the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) declining to prosecute him for alleged assault against his domestic worker, Christine Wiro.
– The Citizen