ATM lays charges against Fikile Mbalula over alleged lockdown contravention
Johannesburg - Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has become the second Cabinet member to allegedly fall foul of the law for contravening the Covid-19 regulations.
The African Transformation Movement (ATM) has accused Mbalula of breaking the lockdown by addressing a large gathering at Noord Taxi Rank in Johannesburg earlier last month.
“We laid charges of breaking the regulations, which had been tabled by the president, at the Johannesburg Central Police Station.
“We feel that the minister should lead by example,” said ATM Gauteng deputy chairperson Thato Moloi.
Under the regulations governing the lockdown gatherings of more than 100 people are prohibited, but it was reported that Mbalula had addressed a crowd of more than 300.
Baloyi said it was uncalled for, and that Mbalula he was not even wearing gloves or a face mask during his visit to the taxi rank.
“The multitudes of people were standing shoulder to shoulder violating physical distancing and putting their lives at risk whilst listening to the Minister.
“Even more concerning was that the Minister himself for a considerable part of his address, together with some of the government officials also set a bad example by violating physical distancing in full view of millions of television viewers,” Moloi.
Moloi said the regulations, which were meant to prevent the spread of coronavirus, did not exempt ministers who were communicating about Covid-19. She also called on Ramaphosa to act decisively against Mbalula.
“If churches are not allowed to congregate their members, there's no reason for the Minister to break the law in the manner he did.
“The law must apply equally to all the citizens of South Africa without fear or favour, and we call on Minister Cele to also give this matter his urgent attention,” said Moloi.
Ramaphosa had earlier this month placed communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams on special leave for also contravening the lockdown by having lunch at the home of former higher education deputy minister Mduduzi Manana’s house. This was after the EFF had opened a case against both Ndabeni-Abrahams and Manana.