Opposition parties say if President Cyril Ramaphosa does not fire Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams for violating the lockdown regulations, it will undermine the whole process.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Democratic Alliance (DA) are united in calling for her removal and arrest, like the thousands of South Africans arrested for the same offence.
Ndabeni-Abrahams is on special leave for two months – and loses a month’s pay – after meeting with Ramaphosa and apologising for her actions on Wednesday.
The EFF said that with Police Minister Bheki Cele not arresting Ndabeni-Abrahams, it showed that the law did not apply to members of the executive.
Party spokesperson Vuyani Pambo said that it put the legitimacy of the lockdown at risk.
“We even doubt that Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams is even washing her hands if she can openly and publicly go against such a regulation when we are faced with such a dangerous and deadly pandemic like COVID-19.”
The DA’s Phumzile van Damme said that President Ramaphosa must go a step further.
“The president should be the one who lays a criminal complaint against Ndabeni-Abrahams.”
Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu will stand in for Ndabeni-Abrahams for the duration of her absence as Communications and Digital Technologies Minister.