Partying KZN MEC fined half her salary for flouting Covid-19 rules
KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu has been fined half her months salary, handed a warning letter and ordered by her boss premier Sihle Zikalala to apologise within seven days for breaching Covid-19 lockdown regulations when she attended her "surprise" party last week.
Zikalala demanded answers from Simelane-Zulu after TimesLIVE published a video and photos of the MEC partying up a storm with friends on her birthday where there was no social distancing and wearing of masks.
On Saturday Zikalala announced that penalties against the MEC were that Simelane-Zulu must within 7 days issue a public apology for having been at an event where there was flouting of Covid-19 regulations.
He revealed that Simelane-Zulu had received a warning from the Premier and that Provincial Treasury has been instructed 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 where the MEC is a Champion in Amajuba District Municipality.
At the time, Simelane-Zulu said the gathering was a “surprise”, and said she regretted that there was some flouting of Covid-19 regulations. However, she said health protocols were mostly followed, adding that she even made a comment to this effect as she arrived.
While Zikalala on Saturday emphasised that all health Covid-19 protocols were clear and adherence was not optional he acknowledged "circumstances that may have landed the MEC in this situation may have been beyond her control".
However, he said the public still has an expectation that leaders should lead them ethically.
"That is the burden we carry as public office bearers. This does not by any stretch of imagination imply that public office bearers and politicians are not infallible.
"The MEC has shown a high level of contrition and she did not go out of her way to violate Covid-19, which is a mitigation to the sanction to be detailed shortly," Zikalala added.