President Cyril Ramaphosa has placed his communications minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, on “special leave” for two months, of which one month is unpaid, for violating the lockdown regulations.
This punishment is for travelling to the former deputy minister of higher education & training Mduduzi Manana’s house for lunch.
Manana posted a picture of the minister having lunch with him on social media, but he has subsequently deleted the post.
The Presidency said the President summoned the Minister yesterday, Tuesday 07 April 2020. The President expressed his disapproval of the Minister’s actions, which undermine the requirement that all citizens stay at home and save South Africa from the spread of the coronavirus.
“The President accepted the Minister’s apology for the violation but was unmoved by mitigating factors she tendered.”
“President Ramaphosa has placed the Minister on special leave for two months, during which Minister in The Presidency Jackson Mthembu will act in Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams’ position.
“The President has reprimanded the Minister and directed her to deliver a public apology to the nation.”
Ndabeni-Abrahams said: “I regret the incident and I am deeply sorry for my actions. I hope the President and South Africans will find it in their hearts to forgive me,” said N
She added: “The President has put me on a special leave with immediate effect. I undertake to abide by the conditions of the special leave .”
“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,” said Ndabeni-Abrahams.
The President said: “The nation-wide lockdown calls for absolute compliance on the part of all South Africans. Members of the National Executive carry a special responsibility in setting an example to South Africans, who are having to make great sacrifices.
“None of us – not least a member of the National Executive – should undermine our national effort to save lives in this very serious situation. I am satisfied that Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams appreciates the seriousness of what she has done and that no-one is above the law.”