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NPA: Ndabeni-Abrahams intentionally broke lockdown rules

A picture of Ndabeni-Abrahams surfaced on social media where she was seen dining at Manana’s house with several other people in violation of the lockdown regulations.

Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams at a media briefing on the coronavirus on 25 March 2020 in Pretoria. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said its investigation found that Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams had intentionally and unlawfully contravened lockdown rules when she visited former Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana’s house.

A picture of Ndabeni-Abrahams surfaced on social media where she was seen dining at Manana’s house with several other people in violation of the lockdown regulations.

The minister has been given a R1,000 fine for contravening the Disaster Management Act, while several others are now under investigation.

The NPA has confirmed it would also be investigating Manana.

Following the backlash, Manana released a statement, insisting that the lunch was not a social gathering.

He claimed that Ndabeni-Abrahams had in fact stopped by his house to pick up COVID-19 protective equipment for students and she was invited to stay on.

Legal expert Riaan Louw said both politicians could face criminal records: “This matter is going to depend on whether or not the other party had the intent to contravene the regulations. If the other party knew that she was going to come to his house for something else than work, then a case of him being guilty will be made for contravening the lockdown regulations.”

The NPA said the minister's penalty should served as a message that all citizens are equal in the eyes of the law.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.