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WATCH | 'Partying health MEC' throws Covid-19 safety out the window

KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu may have landed herself in hot water after it emerged on Monday that she allegedly hosted a party on Sunday, in breach of Covid-19 protocols.

Simelane-Zulu seemingly hosted the party where there was loud music, singing and dancing with no mask wearing or social distancing just moments after publicly warning against Covid-19 complacency as the infection rate in the province began to surge.

Videos and pictures of Simelane-Zulu entertaining guests, including dancing and hugging many of them while not wearing masks, were leaked to TimesLIVE — calling into question her ability to practise what she preached to curb the spread of the killer respiratory disease.

Two days ago Simelane-Zulu raised concern about people not adhering to non-pharmaceutical measures such as wearing face masks, washing their hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser and practising social distancing.

But at the party, the leaked videos showed Simelane-Zulu and her guests throwing the very same non-pharmaceutical measures out the window.

Simelane-Zulu and the office of KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala had not responded to requests for comment at the time of publication and their response will be included in this story as soon as it is obtained.

But this is what she said two days ago about rising Covid-19 figures in her province: “We know that, perhaps because we talk about Covid-19 on a daily basis, people may feel like they’re growing ‘tired’ of consuming this information. In the past two weeks, we have seen an exponential growth in the number of new daily infections. This is extremely concerning.”

DA chief whip in the provincial legislature Zwakele Mncwango on Monday wrote to Zikalala, calling for immediate action against Simelene-Zulu.

“If the MEC of health, no less, does not believe the rules apply to her, then she cannot continue to lead or be the face of KZN’s campaign against the pandemic,” he said.

“She is not fit to hold office if she cannot lead by example. The DA believes that this action has again placed the entire cabinet and provincial government in disrepute.

“Premier, if this is, as claimed, a birthday celebration for the MEC, and if you are serious about accountability, we strongly request that you take action against the MEC immediately. 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.”

Zikalala announced last week that the province had entered the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.