KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Premier Sihle Zikalala is taking action against his Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane after she was seen on video hosting a party, where COVID-19 protocols were not applied.
Simelane was celebrating her birthday last week with close friends and family, many of whom were not wearing masks, herself included.
The MEC apologized following the backlash and insisted that it was a surprise party that was planned by those close to her.
Zikalala announces sanctions against Health MEC
Sihle Zikalala finally addressed the scandal on Saturday, 28 August, announcing several sanctions against Nomagugu Simelane. Not only will she be given a warning, half of her salary will docked and she also has to apologise.
“We have instructed Provincial Treasury to ensure that at the next payment cycle, 50% of the MEC’s salary is docked and paid to NGOs that fight against Covid-19 in the District where the MEC is a Champion in Amajuba District Municipality”KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala
“The MEC deeply regrets the failure by some of the attendees, including herself, at that time, to wear masks, during this short performance during dining. It is important that as leaders of society we are held to the highest highest standards,” he further said.
The premier said he received a report from Simelane on the party, in which she highlighted the following:
The event was held at a venue which was well-ventilated and allowed for social distancing to be exercised Guests were fully aware and were regularly reminded by both the MC and the MEC to adhere to the COVID-19 regulations The party was attended by a maximum of 36 people at a venue meant for 200 people and therefore provided enough circulation in compliance with the regulations
“Even though the circumstances that may have landed the MEC in this situation may have been beyond her control, however, the public still have expectation that we should lead them ethically. That is the burden we carry as public office bearers. This does not by any stretch of imagination imply that public office bearers and politicians are not infallible,” the premier further said.
Zikalala has also thanked his MEC for her response to the scandal as well as her her preparedness to admit her mistake