Acting Health Minister, Mamoloko Kubayi and Democratic Alliance (DA) expressed fear over a gathering at former President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead on Sunday, saying the event involves COVID-19 variant super spreader.
Kubayi said she shudders when she thinks of the consequences of the Nkandla gathering, considering the current variant.
Steenhuisen accused Ramaphosa of turning a blind eye to a chaotic gathering in violation of lockdown regulations at level 4.
He said police failed to act against people who gathered outside Zuma’s house who were also not wearing masks or practising social distancing.
“It is alarming that several South Africans’ lives are at risk due to the Covid-19 super-spreader event,” said Steenhuisen.
Police Minister, Bheki Cele, defended his officers, saying they were obliged to exercise restraint to prevent a catastrophe as it happened in Mariakana.
Cele was speaking at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Monday to launch a vaccination campaign for police officers.
National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole and Cele led a campaign to vaccinate officers throughout the country.
Police spokesperson, Vish Naidoo, warned that everyone involved in organising or participating in illegal events gets arrested or fined.
“In circumstances where a security force’s operational response could potentially end in injury or death, police will file a criminal case against those who created the situation,” said Naidoo.
Steenhuisen has urged Ramaphosa to intervene immediately in the chaotic gathering of Zuma loyalists, which displays disregard for the dangers posed by a deadly pandemic, killing South Africans at an alarming rate, and disregard for the law.
Zuma’s loyalists, including Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association members, had gathered outside his house on Sunday to hear his speech after the Constitutional Court sentenced him and suspended the date to hand himself over to authorities on Sunday.
The suspension came after ConCourt agreed on Saturday to hear Zuma’s appeal on July 12, in which he is seeking the revocation of his 15-month prison term.
Police Minister told eNCA that he is still waiting for additional information on when they should arrest Zuma.
“If President Ramaphosa wants South Africans to take him seriously, he has to put the country above his party, by making sure Zuma and those who support him are held accountable for their actions.
If not, he will forever be known as the president who turned a blind eye to surfers and joggers while letting his compatriots walk free. Zuma is like any ordinary citizen in South Africa under the law. The time has come to treat him as such, “said Steenhuisen.