Communications and Digital Technologies Minister in hot water
25 March 2020
The following was published as a media statement to all media/news editors, on 8 April 2020, by the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has placed Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Ms Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, on special leave for two months – one month of which will be unpaid.
As to allegations that the minister violated the lockdown regulations, the law should take its course. This follows the revelation on social media that the Minister had recently visited the home of a friend who hosted a lunch, contrary to the lockdown regulations.
The president summoned the minister on 7 April 2020. The president expressed his disapproval of the minister’s actions, which undermine the requirement that all citizens stay at home and save South Africa from the spread of the coronavirus.
The president 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 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.”
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