JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has suspended The Communication Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams for two months, one of which will be unpaid leave, for not adhering to lockdown regulations.
Ndabeni-Abrahams has been suspended for two months, with one month without pay, after a picture of her having lunch with the former deputy higher education minister Mduduzi Manana surfaced online during the Imposed lockdown.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) not satisfied with the lenient punishment have responded by opening a criminal case against her for breaking the national disaster regulations, while the African National Congress (ANC) has welcomed the President’s decision.
However, other party members want extreme measures like removal from office issued by the Government for violating the lockdown regulations.
The EFF'S Delisile Ngwenya wants her position exterminated.
“Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams must be removed from Cabinet if the integrity of this national lockdown is to be maintained and the rule of law is to be taken seriously.”
On the other hand, the ANC has welcomed Ramaphosa's decision and warned its members not to emulate Ndabeni- Abrahams behaviour.
The Minister came for PPE which coincided with Launch
Mr Manana in an attempt to save spilt milk issued a statement on what transpired
In his statement, Manana said the minister was on her way to meet with a group of students when he offered to donate personal protective equipment to those students.
“The minister relayed to me that the students require PPEs, which my foundation has been handing over to marginalised communities. I then asked the minister to pass by my private residence to collect the material, which she gladly did.”
He said when the Ndabeni-Abrahams arrived, his family was having lunch, and he invited her to join them, to which she agreed, which is when the picture was taken.
“She then collected the material and headed to her next assignment. She took the first patch for the Fourways students and indicated that the next visit will be tomorrow (08 April 2020) at the Menlyn site, which our team will be delivering.”
He admitted to being irresponsible in posting the picture without context in a time where the country was using the lockdown to curb the spread of the virus and said his family would remain housebound.
Ndabeni-Abrahams looking penitent and stressed in a video posted on the media today asked for forgiveness after admitting to breaching government’s lockdown regulations.
I regret the incident and am deeply sorry for my actions. I hope that the president and you South Africans will find it in your hearts to forgive me. The president has put me on special leave. I undertake to abide by the conditions of the leave.