Acting health minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has criticised some political leaders for “irresponsible” behaviour and hosting mass public gatherings amid the surge in Covid-19 infections. She said political leaders should be exemplary and protect the lives of their supporters.
Speaking at the portfolio committee on health, recently, Kubayi-Ngubane said the country is “technically in the third wave of infections”, and urged political leaders to adhere to the tightened Covid-19 restrictions to prevent infections.
“Gauteng is our major concern. We can call it ‘the fires are burning in Gauteng’. What is most concerning is what one observed yesterday [Wednesday]. Many of us would have seen from social media and TV that mass gatherings happened yesterday [Youth Day], despite the fact that alert level 3 was called and regulated.
“When people gather, you don’t know the people you are gathering with. The majority of people you are gathering with, you don’t know their status. It could be they are positive and while you are running and marching, you are compromising not only yourself, but your families and loved ones,” said Kubayi-Ngubane.
She said these political parties were “acting irresponsibly”.
“When we are leaders, part of the responsibility we have is to make sure we protect the lives of those who support us and put us into leadership,” she said.
Her statement comes after hundreds of EFF supporters gathered to hear party leader Julius Malema speak at a Youth Day commemoration event. Some attendees did not adequately follow Covid-19 safety precautions as they were seen without masks and not social distancing.
The event was held hours after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced SA would be moved to alert level 3 due to the rise in Covid-19 infections. Under the adjusted regulations, no more than 100 people are allowed to gather outdoors.