South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, has placed Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams on special leave for two months, one of which would be unpaid, after a picture of her having lunch with ANC MP Mduduzi Manana during lockdown surfaced on social media.
The President expressed his disapproval of the Minister’s actions, saying that her actions undermined the requirement that all citizens stay at home during the lockdown. He accepted Ndabeni-Abrahams’ apology for the violation but was unmoved by the mitigating factors she tendered.
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,” the Head of State said in a statement.
“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.”
The Presidency said that Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu would act as Communications Minister during Ndabeni-Abrahams’ absence.
On her part, Ndabeni-Abrahams has delivered a public apology to President Ramaphosa and the nation.