The Change Party has condemned Cabinet ministers for sending contradictory messages about protocols people should follow during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Change Party founder and president Lesiba Molokomme said ministers were sending different messages, which would confuse people.
“This will definitely confuse the citizens in terms of their expected conducts during the 21 days. This is actually worrying, considering that the SANDF is ready to take over our streets,” Molokomme said.
The Change leader was responding to a series of media briefings held by various Cabinet ministers, in which they explained various aspects of the stringent measures accompanying the lockdown.
Molokomme was concerned that two top ministers contradicted each other during their separate media briefings this week.
Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize told the nation on Wednesday morning in an interview with the SABC that citizens would be allowed to jog and to walk their dogs during the 21-day lockdown, but later that afternoon Police Minister Bheki Cele contradicted Mkhize by saying no jogging and walking of dogs would be permitted.
“Change calls for the President to instruct the Command Council to appoint a specific inter-ministerial spokesperson to deal with media issues. Only for the specialiased subjects related to the lockdown and coronavirus should the ministers be allowed to speak.
“The majority of South Africans are serious in dealing with this pandemic and are ready to heed to the President’s call for a lockdown, but confusing messages may crumble all these efforts,” Molokomme said.
He challenged government to provide leadership in this regard and let one pronouncement be made.
“We want to defeat this pestilence,” he said.
Meanwhile, the ACDP has supported the call by Ramaphosa for a day of prayer on the eve of the lockdown.
ACDP deputy President Wayne Thring, on behalf of party president Reverand Kenneth Meshoe and the rest of the leadership, said the party lauded Ramaphosa for “seeing the need for God to be summoned to intervene in the pandemic that had befallen South Africa”.
Ramaphosa called for a day of prayer and self-reflection from 6pm to 6.30pm Thursday – six hours before the lockdown came into effect at midnight.
“We acknowledge the humility shown by President Ramaphosa in acknowledging the need for God Almighty to intervene on behalf of our nation, indeed the nations around the world, as they battle the scourge of Covid-19,” Thring said.
“Prayer is a time when we exercise our spiritual muscle, prayer is a time when we become more Christ-like, prayer is the time where we gather together as a family. So tonight, from 6pm to 6.30pm, we encourage all our members, our supporters and churches across South Africa to come together in prayer,” Thring said.
Ramaphosa’s call was made after the he held discussions with religious leaders. He urged citizens to observe a two-minute prayer, reflection or silent meditation. The moment was for South Africans to act together as one patriotic nation in solidarity with all those affected or impacted by Covid-19 in South Africa and around the world.
“These are challenging times. We are traversing a path we have never travelled before. There are many among us who are fearful, uncertain and vulnerable. I call on all people to offer prayer and a thought for the protection and healing of our land and its people from this disease,” Ramaphosa said.
The Change Party was established as a breakaway from the African Christian Democratic Party when Molokomme left the party.
He was Gauteng provincial leader of the ACDP before he established Change as a Gauteng-based party, which he said would later be established in other provinces.