KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has fined Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane for flouting of Covid-19 regulations.
“We have decided that Simelane must within seven days issue a public apology for having been at an event where there was flouting of Covid-19 regulations. Simelane has received a warning from the Premier.
“We have instructed the Provincial Treasury to ensure that at the next payment cycle, 50% of Simelane’s salary is docked and paid to NGOs that fight against Covid-19 in the district where Simelane is a champion, in Amajuba District Municipality,” said Zikalala.
Last Saturday, photographs and videos emerged on social media which were purported to have been taken at a gathering allegedly hosted by Simelane.
In the footage Simelane is portrayed in a celebratory mood alongside a number of other guests.
Zikalala said Simelane deeply regrets the failure by some of the attendees, including herself, at that time, to wear masks, during this short performance during dining.
“It is important that as leaders of society we are held to the highest highest standards. South Africa is a country that prides itself as one that upholds the values of law and order. It is particularly important that members of the provincial executive lead by example especially as we battle this deadly disease,” said Zikalala.
“We commend Simelane for her swift response to the matter. We also thank Simelane for her preparedness to admit her mistake and for expressing her regret that she found herself in this compromising situation.”
He said Simelane may have been beyond her control, but “the public still have expectations that we should lead them ethically. That is the burden we carry as public office bearers”.
“What is clear in both the video and the photographs is that the patrons, including Simelane herself, are not wearing masks and do not appear to be practising social distancing.
“As we are all aware, with effect from 26 July 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa placed the country under adjusted alert level 3. Further to this announcement the government published adjusted level 3 regulations in Gazette 44895 of 25 July 2021 as amended by Gazette 44911 of 30 July 2021,” Zikalala said.