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Van Damme urges acting health minister to ask Cele to 'enforce the law in Nkandla'

'Tap your fellow minister Bheki Cele on the shoulder to go enforce the law'

05 July 2021 - 13:00 By cebelihle bhengu
Former MP Phumzile Van Damme has weighed in on the crowd gathered at Jacob Zuma's homestead in Nkandla, KZN. File photo.
Former MP Phumzile Van Damme has weighed in on the crowd gathered at Jacob Zuma's homestead in Nkandla, KZN. File photo.
Image: Esa Alexander

Former DA MP Phumzile Van Damme has called on acting health minister Mmamoloko Kubayi to ask police minister Bheki Cele to enforce the law at the home of former president Jacob Zuma in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, where supporters gathered to “prevent his arrest” at the weekend.

Reacting to the crowds at Zuma's residence, Kubayi said this could result in a spike in Covid-19 infections.

“I shudder to think of the after effect of the Nkandla gathering with the current variant. After the Pretoria march, court protest in Joburg and marches in Soweto we saw numbers surge to above 26,000 last night,” the minister tweeted on Sunday with the latest Covid-19 stats.

But Van Damme said the acting minister was not powerless in the situation. She said Cele must enforce the law in Nkandla the same way he has done throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Alternatively, you could tap your fellow minister Bheki Cele on the shoulder to go enforce the law in Nkandla. He who had the vim and vigour to run around on beaches chasing surfers and sunbathers.” 

When approached for comment, Van Damme told TimesLIVE that her remarks on social media were simply an observation.

According to TimesLIVE, national joint operational and intelligence structure (NatJoints) spokesperson Brig Vish Naidoo said police presence was beefed up in Nkandla in response to incidents “in which people are seen to be undermining the authority of the state, including the flouting of the DMA [Disaster Management Act] regulations”.

He said failure to comply with the regulations could lead to fines and/or arrests.

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