President Cyril Ramaphosa has placed Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams on special leave for two months, one month of which will be unpaid.
This follows the revelation on social media that Ndabeni- Abrahams had recently visited the home of former Higher Education and Training Deputy Minister, Mduduzi Manana who hosted a lunch, contrary to the lockdown regulations.
Ramaphosa summoned the minister on Tuesday, where he expressed his disapproval of Ndabeni-Abraham’s actions, which he said undermine the requirement that all citizens stay at home and save South Africa from the spread of the coronavirus.
#LockdownSA [WATCH] Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams seemingly in hot water. President Cyril Ramaphosa has asked for a meeting with her to explain a picture that went viral showing her DINING at the home of ANC NEC member Mdu Manana.#sabcnews pic.twitter.com/tUQtcf9ZQ8
— Chriselda 'Babes WeNdaba' Lewis ™️ (@Chriseldalewis) April 7, 2020
In a statement, the Presidency says, “Ramaphosa accepted the Minister’s apology for the violation but was unmoved by mitigating factors she tendered. President Ramaphosa has placed the Minister on special leave for two months, during which Minister in The Presidency Jackson Mthembu will act in Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams’ position. The President has reprimanded the Minister and directed her to deliver a public apology to the nation.”
The President says, “The nationwide lockdown calls for absolute compliance on the part of all South Africans. Members of the National Executive carry a special responsibility in setting an example to South Africans, who are having to make great sacrifices.”
“None of us, not least a member of the National Executive, should undermine our national effort to save lives in this very serious situation. I am satisfied that Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams appreciates the seriousness of what she has done and that no-one is above the law,” Ramaphosa adds.