PRETORIA – Embattled Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has paid a R1,000 admission-of-guilt fine after being charged with contravening the Disaster Management Act, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Wednesday.
President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier this month placed Ndabeni-Abrahams on special leave for two months, one of them unpaid, after a photo circulated on social media showing her having lunch with friends despite a national lockdown aimed at curbing new transmissions of the Covid-19 coronavirus.
“Ndabeni-Abrahams was charged with contravention of Regulation 11 B of the Disaster Management Act and was served with summons to appear in the Pretoria District Court on 22 May 2020, with an admission of guilt fine of R1,000 set,” NPA spokesperson for Gauteng province Phindi Mjonondwane said.
The NPA said the fine was determined by the senior magistrate for the magisterial district of Tshwane, where a R1,000 penalty has been set for the offence of failing to confine oneself to a place of residence.
“The state alleged that on 5 April 2020, Ndabeni-Abrahams unlawfully and intentionally failed to remain confined in her place of residence by visiting Mr Mduduzi Manana’s place of residence. The investigations revealed that the visit was not for purposes of rendering essential service or obtaining essential goods, collecting a grant or seeking medical attention as per requirements of the Covid-19 regulations,” said Mjonondwane.
Former Deputy Minister of Higher Education Mduduzi Manana shared a photograph on Instagram in which he and Ndabeni-Abrahams, whom he described as a friend, sat at a table with several other people having a meal at his home.
He captioned the photo: “It was great to host a former colleague and dear sister Cde Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams on her way back from executing critical and essential services.”
Manana has since removed the photo from his Instagram page.
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