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President Ramaphosa has placed Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams on special leave after she contravened lockdown regulations.
The President summoned the minister on Tuesday after a viral image of her lunching with a friend emerged online.
#COVID19 | PRESIDENT CENSURES MINISTER STELLA NDABENI-ABRAHAMS FOR LOCKDOWN LUNCH
President @CyrilRamaphosa has placed Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Ms Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams on special leave for two months – one month of which will be unpaid.
— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) April 8, 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 Presidency tweeted on Wednesday.
The punishment for Ndabeni-Abrahams is two months special leave, including one unpaid.
“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,” said Ramaphosa, quoted by the Presidency.
Some on Twitter feel that the punishment was too light.
“Why is she not arrested?” tweeted on user.
“Think is a slap in the face. Why arrest others but not her?” wrote another.
Others called for a demotion, her resignation, or at least two months of unpaid leave.
The news comes in the midst of South Africa’s unprecedented 21-day lockdown, during which no citizens are allowed beyond the confines of their homes barring special permission or to acquire essential items like food or medicine.
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Feature image: CDC via Unsplash