- The ANC has come out in Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's defence over the ban on tobacco sales
- The ruling party has condemned those raising less than flattering opinions over the minister's controversial decision
- This comes as the Democratic Alliance called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to axe Dlamini-Zuma over alleged lies
The ANC has come out in strong defence of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
The minister has been facing immense criticism over her anti-tobacco stance which has swayed the decision to extend the ban on products during Level 3 of the lockdown.
In a statement released by the ruling party, the ANC dubbed the 'attacks' on the minister as unwarranted and insisted that she was simply fulfilling her duties as a cabinet member:
“…the attacks are not only persisting, but they have been intensified with the worst racist, sexist, misogynist comments posted on social media."
Spokesperson Pule Mabe called on ANC members to resist these so-called attacks on the minister:
“The ANC also calls on everyone of our members to be prepared to resist these vicious attacks on Comrade Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, not only by defending the dignity of our comrade on social media platforms, but also by bringing legal charges against those who indulge in hate speech."
Briefly.co.za reported that the Democratic Alliance had called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire the minister after it emerged that she had bloated public support of the prohibition:
“But the fact that Minister Dlamini Zuma took the decision to make up a number of alleged supporting submissions and then lie to the people of South Africa in her briefing should be grounds for immediate suspension from her position. If the president wants to salvage some credibility for government’s response to this crisis, he cannot allow her to evade accountability on this."
Dlamini-Zuma has stuck by her insistence that tobacco products increase the health risks related to Covid-19:
“Smokers have higher ICU admissions, higher need for ventilation and a higher mortality rate than non-smokers."
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