Lockdown lunch | 'I hope you will find it in your hearts to forgive me' - Ndabeni-Abrahams apologises

2020-04-08 13:55
Minister of Communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. (GCIS)

Minister of Communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. (GCIS)

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Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has appealed to South Africans to "find it in your hearts to forgive me" for having lunch at a friend's house during a nationwide lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Her apology followed a directive from President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday.

The news of the lunch broke when a picture of Ndabeni-Abrahams having lunch with former deputy minister of higher education Mduduzi Manana at his home went viral on social media. In the picture, the two are seated at a table along with other people.

The president then summoned her to a meeting to discuss the issue and put her on special leave for two months, docking one month's pay.

In a video on Wednesday, Ndabeni-Abrahams apologised to Ramaphosa and all South Africans.

READ | Hundreds of Post Offices remain open during lockdown – but you won’t be getting any mail

"Fellow South Africans, I would like to convey an apology to President Cyril Ramaphosa, the national command centre [and] the South African society at large for breaching lockdown rules put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19," Ndabeni-Abrahams said in the video.

"I met with the president yesterday (Tuesday) after a photo was circulated on social media, showing myself at the home of Mr Mduduzi Manana during the lockdown and social distancing period," Ndabeni-Abrahams said.

She added that she regretted her actions.

"I regret the incident and I am deeply sorry for my actions. I hope the president and you, South Africans, will find it in your hearts to forgive me."

She said would abide by Ramaphosa's directives.

"The president has put me on special leave. I undertake to abide by the conditions of the leave," she said.

Ndabeni-Abrahams also took the opportunity to reiterate Ramaphosa's call for all South Africans to stay at home and observe lockdown regulations.

"They are a necessary intervention to curb the spread of a virus that has devastated many nations," she said.

Read more on:    cyril ramaphosa  |  stella ndabeni-abrahams  |  coronavirus  |  lockdown
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