'A fairytale': Mzansi reacts to Mduduzi Manana's statement on #Stellalunch

08 April 2020 - 12:58
By Unathi Nkanjeni
Former deputy minister of higher education and training‚ Mduduzi Manana.
Image: File photo Former deputy minister of higher education and training‚ Mduduzi Manana.

Mduduzi Manana's explanation for his lockdown rule-breaking “social lunch” with communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has been met with mixed reactions online.

On Tuesday, he denied that the viral picture showing him and Ndabeni-Abrahams seated at the table having a meal was a social visit.

The now-deleted picture was posted on Sunday with the caption “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 lunch between the two was slammed for violating lockdown regulations — which is a criminal offence.

Manana said in a statement that 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.

“I received a call from Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, who informed me that she was visiting a site in Fourways where a number of students were working on the Covid-19 digital services,” said Manana.

Manana further said: “Upon her arrival, my family was having lunch and I invited her to join us. She collected the material and headed to her next assignment.

“On hindsight, it was irresponsible to post a picture without giving clear context, thereby creating the impression that it was a ‘social lunch’. For this, we profusely apologise.”

On Wednesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa placed Ndabeni-Abrahams on special leave for two months — one month of which will be unpaid.

On social media many people, including One SA leader Mmusi Maimane, called the statement a “fairytale”.

Here is snapshot of what people had to say.