Ramaphosa summons Ndabeni-Abrahams for breaking lockdown rules
A picture emerged on social media of the minister having lunch with former Member of Parliament Mduduzi Manana despite the national lockdown.
JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday said he had summoned Minister of Communications, Telecommunications and Postal Services, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, to meet with him after a picture emerged on social media of the minister having lunch with former African National Congress (ANC) Member of Parliament Mduduzi Manana despite the national lockdown.
In the now-deleted image, Ndabeni-Abrahams could be seen with a few people sitting at a table at Manana’s residence.
The commoners shall endure #SALockdown while the elites and the ruling class enjoy each other's company and freedom of movement. No political judgment, no commitment to cease their sense of exceptionalism. President Ramaphosa must act on Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams #covid19SA pic.twitter.com/zHo9rOpyhC— Lukhona (@LukhonaMnguni) April 7, 2020
This had resulted in an angry response from the public.
Speaking while visiting Rand Water in Glenvista, the president said he had noted what had happened.
“I have seen the picture of Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams sitting at a luncheon with friends and have asked her to come and see me, so that we can discuss the impact of visuals like these. What we are trying, what we want to do...we want to instill a clear message about social distancing, that you must stay at home and don't go around on visitations,” he said.
ANC NEC MEMBERS URGED TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE
At the same time, ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte on Tuesday wrote a letter to members of the governing party’s national executive committee (NEC) urging them to lead by example during the lockdown.
In the letter, Duarte said NEC members should “demonstrate political consciousness and sensitivity” in their conduct and communication, particularly on social media.
“Photos of opulent living and consumption of non-essential substances should be avoided. We must be seen to lead in both the letter and spirit of the national lockdown,” the letter read.
Duarte said the national effort to contain and slow the spread of COVID-19 depended on united action and social solidarity, which had “required drastic measures that result in hardship for all, most especially the working class and poor.”
Citizens cannot reasonably be asked to comply with extraordinary limitations on our freedoms, including telling us to not visit ill family members, when a minister decides to pop in for lunch at a friend's. If you cannot lead, do NOT take up leadership positions in society.— Eusebius McKaiser (@Eusebius) April 7, 2020
Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams and former deputy higher education minister Mduduzi Manana enjoying lunch at his home.— Ｔｅｒｒｙ Ｍｔｈｅｍｂｕ⚪ (@Terrypedia) April 7, 2020
Now let's see what action will be taken or we are at Animal Farm where some are more equal than others
Leaders must lead by example!
The @SAPoliceService arrested a bride on her wedding day because they broke lockdown regulations.— Ben Pooler (@benpooler) April 7, 2020
I am quite certain the police will act with equal vigour against transgressing cabinet ministers like Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. pic.twitter.com/V1pRzUKyo4
For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.