The police are investigating KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala for allegedly contravening national lockdown regulations.
This after DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard laid a charge against Zikalala for what she deemed an “illegal gathering”. The province, however, dismissed the claim.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo said on Friday: “I can confirm that a case of an alleged contravention of the National Disaster Management Act is being investigated against a senior political leader in KZN. This after he [is] alleged to have addressed a gathering at a hospital just outside the Duban CBD. No arrests have yet been made.”
Kohler Barnard claimed that Zikalala had held what she believes “to have been an illegal gathering at the Clairwood Hospital at around 10:30” on Monday.
In her affidavit, Kohler Barnard further claimed that the meeting was a “rally – pulling essential workers from their vital duties on wards, ambulances and patrols”.
The KZN government responded that “spreading or disseminating fake news in order to hog headlines during the lockdown is a violation of the regulations”.
“The provincial government of KZN notes with dismay the statement by the DA alleging that it had organised a rally and would like to clarify to the citizens that the premier and members of the provincial command council undertook a routine work of the command council and visited Clairwood Hospital,” the province said in a statement on Monday.
It said Zikalala had handed over thousands of N95 masks and “utilised the occasion to appreciate and motivate the frontline staff, who are manning the forward trenches in the fight against the spread of Covid-19”.
‘Not a gathering’
“This was not a gathering as contemplated in the lockdown regulations, but an ongoing routine work to monitor the state of preparedness by the province to respond to Covid-19.”
Last month, Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams pleaded guilty and paid a R1,000 fine for contravening lockdown regulations.
This after she was pictured having lunch with disgraced former deputy minister Mduduzi Manana. President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was “unmoved by mitigating factors she tendered”, placed her on special leave for two months, one of which would be unpaid, and directed police to investigate.