- KZN’s Health MEC will have to issue a public apology after she and her guests were seen dancing without wearing masks at a party.
- She has received a warning, while 50% of her salary will be docked.
- The premier’s decision was taken following the MEC’s report of what transpired at her surprise birthday party.
KwaZulu-Natal’s Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane will have to issue a public apology after she and her guests were seen neglecting Covid-19 protocols during her surprise party last Sunday.
In addition, half of her salary will be docked and paid to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) involved in the fight against Covid-19.
On Saturday, KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala gave his decision following a report by Health MEC Simelane after she and her guests at a party were seen dancing without wearing any face masks.
According to Zikalala, from the video and the photographs, it was clear the patrons, including the MEC, were not wearing masks and did not appear to be practising social distancing.
“Having considered all the facts, the MEC’s regret and acknowledgment, we have decided on the following course of action:
- The MEC must, within seven days, issue a public apology for having been at an event where there was flouting of Covid-19 regulations;
- The MEC has received a warning from the premier; and
- We have instructed the 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.
He added that Simelane had shown a high level of contrition, which had been a mitigation in the sanction.
In her report to the premier, the MEC stated the event was held at a venue, which was well-ventilated, which had the appropriate social distancing, and that guests were fully aware and were regularly reminded, by both the master of ceremonies and the MEC, to adhere to Covid-19 regulations.
“We commend the MEC for her swift response to the matter,” said Zikalala.
“We also thank the MEC for her preparedness to admit her mistake and for expressing her regret that she found herself in this compromising situation.”