President Cyril Ramaphosa has placed Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, on special leave for two months, with one month unpaid.
This follows allegations that she left her home to visit a friend while ignoring lockdown regulations.
“As to allegations that the Minister violated the lockdown regulations, the law should take its course,” said the Presidency in a statement. “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 yesterday [Tuesday, April 7], and 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.”
Ramaphosa accepted Ndabeni-Abrahams’ apology for the violation.
“The minister has been placed on special leave for two months, during which Jackson Mthembu will act in Ndabeni-Abrahams’ position,” the Presidency added.
Ramaphosa reprimanded Ndabeni-Abrahams and directed her to deliver a public apology to the nation.
“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,” Ramaphosa said. “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.”