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MPs critical of Zulu’s response to COVID-19 crisis, call for her resignation

Opposition MPs were responding to a ministerial statement delivered by Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu in the National Assembly, where she listed some of her department’s achievements.

Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu attends a media briefing on 13 July 2020. Picture: @The_DSD/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu on Thursday came under heavy criticism from Members of Parliament (MPs), with some calling for her to resign.

Opposition MPs were responding to a ministerial statement delivered by Zulu in the National Assembly, where she listed some of her department’s achievements.

The minister said that the Department of Social Development got an unprecedented R50 billion for COVID-19 support during the lockdown.

Zulu listed some of her department’s achievements, like the 1.2 million food parcels distributed. She also went as far as naming two NGOs that were successfully paid R200,000 in relief funding.

But the Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Bridgette Masango said that the department had not done enough and called for Zulu’s resignation.

“She should issue an unconditional apology to the millions of South Africans who have been victims of her lack of leadership, and of her being removed from the reality of the people she has the privilege of serving. After the apology, the honourable minister must do the honourable thing and vacate her position,” Masango said.

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) MP Liezl van der Merwe said that Zulu’s statement was incomplete and reminded her of corruption and suffering.

“Vulnerable South Africans slept outside closed Sassa offices in the cold and rain. Pensioners dead in long Sassa lines. Call centre numbers for Sassa went unanswered. Gender-based violence increased, and when organisations warned of an increase in child abuse, this department simply looked the other way,” she said.

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