Our Parliamentary officials have been extremely busy this month, as the true gravity of the coronavirus outbreak sinks in beyond any previous comprehension. Unfortunately, with the jet-setting and public engagements that come with the job, Cabinet ministers Naledi Pandor and Ayanda Dlodlo have both been affected.
Lockdown latest: Which Cabinet ministers are in self-isolation?
While attending a conference in DR Congo last week, it’s understood that a member of South Africa’s delegation came down with the symptoms of coronavirus, and tested positive for the disease shortly afterwards. Although neither minister is believed to have COVID-19, they will stay in a self-imposed quarantine for the next two week – as per government guidelines.
In fact, Naledi Pandor has already been tested – and her results have come back negative. It’s good news for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) head, but state security boss Ayanda Dlodlo is still waiting on her results.
Naledi Pandor, Ayanda Dlodlo to stay at home due to coronavirus – like the rest of us
Pandor’s entire backroom staff have also been exiled into a 14-day isolation period at home. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Dlodlo’s office confirmed that it’s now a waiting game for the government minister:
“We can confirm that Ayanda Dlodlo travelled to Oyo [in DR Congo] in the past two weeks and upon learning of the person travelling with them testing positive, she took the decision to self-isolate and test for the coronavirus.” Office of Ayanda Dlodlo
Coronavirus latest – politicians under scrutiny
One Cabinet member who isn’t seeking a test for COVID-19 is Arts Minister Nathi Mthethwa: The politician was challenged about his interaction with the president of Netball SA, who had recently contracted coronavirus. But his elusive response wasn’t the reassurance South Africans were looking for.
Cecilia Molokwane had fallen victim to the illness earlier this week, just days after she and Mthethwa attended an engagement together. However, when he was asked about getting himself tested, the minister seemed to throw caution to the wind and stressed that he wouldn’t be self-isolating as a precaution. President Cyril Ramaphosa, meanwhile, has tested negative for coronavirus this week.
International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor and her spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele are in self-quarantine. South Africa will be on a 21-day lockdown from Thursday midnight. pic.twitter.com/8q8kaBkIwy— Channel 3 News (@3News_Za) March 26, 2020