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POLL | Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams violated lockdown regulations but should she be fired?

08 April 2020 - 10:00 By Unathi Nkanjeni
Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has been asked to meet with President Cyril Ramaphosa after a picture was posted of her violating the national lockdown.
Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has been asked to meet with President Cyril Ramaphosa after a picture was posted of her violating the national lockdown.
Image: GCIS

Communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has come under fire for violation of lockdown regulations, after visiting a friend for lunch. 

On Sunday, former deputy education minister Mduduzi Manana posted a picture of himself and a group of people having lunch at his home.

The now-deleted picture also showed Ndabeni-Abrahams, who Manana described as a friend, seated at the table having a meal.

"It was great to host a former colleague and dear sister Cde Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams on her way back from executing critical and essential services," the caption read.

Manana's excuse 

Soon after the picture went viral, Ndabeni-Abrahams was slammed for defying lockdown regulations, which forbids all South Africans from leaving their homes, unless it is to perform an essential task or work as part of an essential service.

Manana, on Tuesday, said Ndabeni-Abrahams came over to his house to "pick up" personal protective equipment for a group of students, before she was invited in for lunch.

Ramaphosa's 'acknowledgment'

President Cyril Ramaphosa acknowledged that he had seen the picture, addressing questions on the matter during a visit to Rand Water in Glenvista, Johannesburg.

He said he had called Ndabeni-Abrahams to a meeting to discuss the matter.

“We are trying to instil a clear message to all our people that social distance is important. Let us stay at home. Let us not be going around with visitations. And if you have to, it must be work-related," Ramaphosa said.

DA not buying it and calls for sacking

DA shadow minister of communications, Phumzile van Damme called for Ramaphosa to set an example by firing and laying a criminal complaint against Ndabeni-Abrahams.

"The statement by President Cyril Ramaphosa indicating that he has summoned communications and digital technologies minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, is simply not good enough.

"He must set an example as the President of South Africa that lawlessness, while our country deals with a global pandemic, will not be tolerated, regardless of from whom it comes," said Van Damme. 

Van Damme suggested that Ramaphosa's reaction was "a mere slap on the wrist". 

"Many have lost jobs and incomes while staying at home as he requested. Some have been brutalised by security forces for not obeying the law. He cannot expect that in these circumstances a mere slap on the wrist will suffice. Ndabeni-Abrahams must go," she said. 


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