Mpumalanga premier will not act against health MEC, Sasekani Manzini, for allegedly violating social distancing regulations. This after the department removed the pictures which could have implicated Manzini from the official Facebook page.
Manzini held a Covid-19 screening event at the Middelburg Toll Plaza where scores of motorists and passengers were made to queue close to each other in contravention of the One-Person Per Square Metre Regulations of the Disaster Management Act.
“The Premier did have a word with the MEC and is satisfied with her explanation. The MEC in question indeed was at the Middleburg Toll Gate to oversee the start of the screening, she however did not stay long to witness the violation.”
“As you can see on the pictures provided she had already left when the number of people stopped from their cars grew,” said Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane’s spokesperson, Sibongile Mkani-Mpolweni.
The Regulations which were published on 18 March 2020 provides that people should have adequate space between them to prevent the transmission of the infectious Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov) which was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Previously, the department of health published Manzini’s pictures while screening people who were made to stand in long queues near the Toll Gate. This was also in violation to the Regulations which also prohibited gatherings of people, whether in open air or in premises.
After Ziwaphi-The New Era sent questions to Mpumalanga Premier’s Offices, they requested for the pictures showing the alleged violation, but the department had already taken the pictures off their official Facebook page.
Health spokesperson, Dumisani Malamule, refused to respond to enquiries about the removal of the pictures.
Ziwaphi-The New Era, however, had already published one of the pictures in earlier editions.
When asked during a media conference last week, if she would reprimand Manzini, premier Mtshweni-Tsipane, smiled off and promised to talk to the MEC.
It appears, however, that Mtshweni-Tsipane started treating the matter seriously after president Cyril Ramaphosa suspended minister of communications, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams for contravention of the national lockdown Regulations after she pictures of her and controversial ANC NEC member, Mduduzi Manana’s family appeared on social media.
Manana claimed she was there to collect face masks and sanitisers, but Ramaphosa took none of that explanation, and he slapped Ndabeni-Abrahams with a two months suspension and docked her a month’s salary,
In KwaZulu-Natal province, the executive mayor and speaker of the Nkandla local municipality spent the night in police cells for an offence similar to the one alleged against Manzini, after they distributed food parcels and business trading permits during the lockdown.