Shortly after calling on inhabitants of the KwaZulu-Natal to adhere to COVID-19 regulations in the face of a third wave in the province, the Health MEC held a riotous birthday party at which the same regulations were ignored, with pictures being leaked of her and her guests throwing their masks out the window, writes MedicalBrief.
The Democratic Alliance has called for a probe into provincial health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu after a video surfaced of her partying up a storm on Sunday and she and her guests throwing their face masks out of the window.
The video and pictures were leaked to TimesLIVE, and show the MEC breaching various COVID protocols – including dancing and hugging many of her guests, while not wearing masks. There is loud music, singing and dancing with no mask-wearing or social distancing.
Last week the MEC had raised concerns about people not adhering to wearing face masks, washing their hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser, and practising social distancing. But the party videos show her and her guests throwing the very same non-pharmaceutical measures out of the window.
Simelane-Zulu said the gathering was a “surprise”, and she regretted the flouting of some COVID-19 regulations. However, notes TimesLIVE, she said health protocols were “mostly followed”. The event was “a surprise lunch for her birthday”, she said, at a “sizeable and well-ventilated venue”.
“There was a time during a brief musical performance where the guests stood up and danced, unfortunately without wearing their masks, as they were still eating.
“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.”
The DA’s chief whip in the provincial legislature Zwakele Mncwango wrote to the office of KZN premier Sihle Zikalala on Monday, calling for immediate action against Simelane-Zulu.
“If the MEC of Health, no less, does not believe the rules apply to her, she cannot continue to lead or be the face of KZN’s campaign against the pandemic,” he said. “We call on you to conduct an investigation into the conduct of the MEC and to report back to the premier's portfolio committee within seven days.”
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