Ndabeni-Abrahams says video of her next to new BMW is 'old and malicious'
Suspended communications and digital technologies minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams says a video shared on social media of her dancing next to a new car dates back to a year ago.
The video, in which Ndabeni-Abrahams is seen singing and dancing next to a brand new black BMW, has angered Twitter users, with some accusing the minister of abusing taxpayers' money. Others advised her to check who was posting damaging videos of her.
Ndabeni-Abrahams said the video was shot after the general elections in May last year.
“I also would like to draw attention to the fact that car dealerships are closed during the lockdown. I am at home — in line with the lockdown regulations which require citizens to remain at home and observe social distancing rules,” she said.
“It is malicious and mischievous to portray me as a person with no remorse and insensitively displaying opulence at the face of the poor.
“I humbly call on all involved — whether in raising their opinions or circulating it — to avoid the temptation of sensationalism without first verifying the facts.”
On social media, the minister generated both support and criticism.
“Watch your inner circle,” advised @patouloba.
“Hard-worked taxpayers' money, but not hard-earned,” said Denver Clayton.
“They will laugh at your poverty blatantly to prove to you there are no consequences for them. We can make all the Twitter noise we want, but at the end of the day it will be swept under the carpet. She will eat our tax,” said@Marike_Cakes.
@QueenV1981 posted: “It just amazes me that all of you guys live in opulence yet represent the poor. I would be ashamed to even dress up knowing children die of pit toilets and hunger. Shamed to show off assets that could feed a village. It's a matter of principle — stop flaunting our taxes. Stop!”
MK veterans spokesperson Carl Niehaus chimed in to compare the minister's lifestyle with a shackdweller. “This photo and that video should be looked at together ... The long-suffering, selfless loyalty of our ANC members, compared to displays of conspicuous consumption and arrogance of some of our leaders, is shameful,” he said.
“The time for self-correction and ending this nonsense is long overdue!”
President Cyril Ramaphosa suspended Ndabeni-Abrahams for two months earlier this month, also docking one month's salary, after a photo of her having lunch with former deputy minister of higher education Mduduzi Manana at his home during the lockdown.
She also paid an admission of guilt fine of R1,000 after being charged with contravention of regulation 11 B of the Disaster Management Act.
You don't seem to be have people around you who got your best interest at heart.— Fellow Africans (@FellowAfricans) April 30, 2020
This photo & that video should be looked at together ... The long suffering selfless loyalty of our #ANC members, compared to displays of conspicuous consumption & arrogance of some of our leaders is shameful. The time for self-correction, & ending this nonsense is long overdue! pic.twitter.com/83K5hj1XK4— Carl Niehaus (@niehaus_carl) April 29, 2020