President Ramaphosa has placed Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, on special leave for two months, one of which will be unpaid, for breaching the nationwide lockdown regulations.
President Ramaphosa and Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams had a meeting yesterday after a photo, showing the Minister having lunch at the home of Mr. Mduduzi Manana during the lockdown period, went viral on social media.
Jackson Mthembu, Minister in The Presidency, will act in the position of Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams.
Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams recorded an apology in which she addresses the President, the National Command Centre and the public of South Africa for breaking the lockdown rules that were put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19.
She said in her apology: “I regret the incident and I am deeply sorry for my actions. I hope the President and South Africans will find it in their hearts to forgive me. The President has put me on special leave with immediate effect. I undertake to abide by the conditions of the special leave. I wish to use this opportunity to reiterate the President’s call for all of us to observe the lockdown rules. They are a necessary intervention to curb the spread of a virus that has devastated many nations.”
In a press release, President Ramaphosa said, “The nation-wide 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.”