South Africa’s ICT minister sent on 2 month’s leave for breaching Covid-19 lockdown rules

Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, South Africa’s Minister for Communications and Digital Technologies, has been sent on special leave for two months, one month of which will be unpaid, by the country’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa.

The youthful and gorgeous minister has been placed on leave over allegations that she violated the lockdown regulations put in place by the government to help contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

(TOP: Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams).

South Africa currently has 1,845 confirmed Coronavirus cases with 18 reported deaths.

A statement on the official government website noted that the decision 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 07 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,” the government stated, adding that President Ramaphosa has placed the Minister on special leave for two months, during which the Minister in The Presidency, Jackson Mthembu, will act in Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams’ position.

Ndabeni-Abrahams has also been reprimanded and directed by the President 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.”

Ndabeni-Abrahams, on her part, conveyed an apology to President Cyril Ramaphosa, the National Command Centre and the South African society at large for breaching lockdown rules put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19.

President Ramaphosa and Ndabeni-Abrahams also met after a photo was circulated on social media showing the Minister at the home of Mduduzi Manana during the lockdown and social distancing period.

She added: “The President has put me on a special leave with immediate effect. I undertake to abide by the conditions of the special leave… I wish to use this opportunity to reiterate the President’s call for all of us to observe the lockdown rules. They are a necessary intervention to curb the spread of a virus that has devastated many nations.

Ndabeni-Abrahams has been South Africa’s Minister for Communications and Digital Technologies since November 2018.

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