President Cyril Ramaphosa has placed the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, on special leave for violating lockdown regulations.
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 Presidency said Ndabeni-Abrahams has been placed on special leave for two months – one month of which will be unpaid.
“The President summoned the Minister on Tuesday, 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 Coronavirus.
“The President accepted the Minister’s apology for the violation but was unmoved by the 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 Presidency said in a statement
The President has also reprimanded Ndabeni-Abrahams and directed her to deliver a public apology to the nation.
“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,” President Ramaphosa said.