Howard Smith who is a manager at the speaker’s office in Bitou municipality is pictured without a mask with a senior citizen.
Howard Smith who is a manager at the speaker’s office in Bitou municipality is pictured without a mask with a senior citizen.

ANC accused of gambling with people’s lives after ’flouting’ Covid regulations

By Velani Ludidi Time of article published Jul 21, 2021

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CAPE TOWN: The ANC in Plettenberg Bay is accused of risking the lives of the elderly after their member was pictured flaunting Covid-19 regulations.

The member, Howard Smith, is a manager at the Speaker’s office in the Bitou Municipality.

He was seen in pictures shared by the party with no mask, including the senior citizens he was pictured with.

He was with PR councillor Vanessa van Rhymer visiting New Horizon on Mandela Day. They were there to donate items that included blankets and socks.

Political parties in Bitou voiced their concerns about how the party disregarded lockdown regulations.

Sivuyile Nkomo, spokesperson of Ikhwezi Political Movement (IPM) called the ANC opportunistic, “IPM condemns the opportunistic campaigning of the ANC in Bitou. This was a direct contravention of the lockdown regulations. It was illegal for them to gamble with people’s lives.”

The DA’s Bill Nel said what the ANC did was concerning.

“We are deeply concerned particularly with the new variant that is more contagious. The third wave is passing Gauteng and coming to this side. Elderly people are more at risk and what the ANC did is concerning.”

The party defended itself saying it respects and abides by the lockdown regulations.

“We appreciate that our councillor had a programme handing over blankets,” said the party’s Aseza Gungubele. “They were the for few minutes and it was not campaigning. Some parties do not understand the significance of Mandela Day like us hence you will hear them talking when we participate. If there was a breach of protocols, the party will look into that.”

Former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke recommended that elections set for October be postponed to no later than February next year. In his report, Justice Moseneke raised concerns around the amount of time political parties would4 have to prepare for elections, as well as the ongoing Covid-19 situation in the country.

The country is still under alert level 4 amid an alarming rate of infections.

Weekend Argus

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