Arrest Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams and Mduduzi Manana over lockdown lunch: F4SD
Rustenburg - Former Deputy Minister of Higher Education Mduduzi Manana and all those photographed around his lunch table during the national lockdown must be arrested, Forum 4 Service Delivery (F4SD) said on Wednesday.
"F4SD is shocked that the South African Police Service (SAPS) has not lifted a finger since the viral circulation of a photo depicting disgraced minister of communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams hosted by Manana. It cannot be correct that other citizens are brutalised while those connected are treated with kid gloves," said party leader Mbahere Kekana.
He said that in terms of the South African constitution, everyone was equal before the law.
The photo of Ndabeni-Abrahams having a "luncheon" with Manana and others while the country is in a 21-day lockdown to stop the spread of Covid-19 caused outrage among the public. Manana at first posted the photo to his Instagram account, but removed it as public opinion soured.
He then issued a statement saying the minister had stopped in to collect stocks of personal protective equipment.
But president Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday that as a result of her breach of lockdown regulations, Ndabeni-Abrahams would be placed on special leave for two months, one unpaid.
Minister in the presidency, Jackson Mthembu, will be taking over Ndabeni-Abrahams' duties during her suspension.
The minister on Wednesday apologised to Ramaphosa, the national command council on Covid-19 and South Africans for her behaviour.
South Africa's death rate from Covid-19 currently sits at 13, with 1 749 infections recorded.
In terms of the lockdown regulations, no one is allowed to leave home unless they are essential workers, are shopping or seeking medical attention.
Covid-19 was first reported in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. The respiratory infection has since rapidly spread to other parts of the world.
According to statistics reference website Worldometers, there are to date over 1,4 million cases globally, with over 83 000 deaths. Over 309 000 people have recovered from the virus.
African News Agency (ANA)
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