Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of Parliament Dianne Kohler Barnard has laid a charge against KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala for what she deemed an “illegal gathering”, but the province has dismissed the claim.
Barnard on Monday claimed that Zikalala held what she believes “to have been an illegal gathering at the Clairwood Hospital at around 10:30” on Monday.
In her affidavit, Barnard further claimed that the meeting was a “rally – pulling essential workers from their vital duties on wards, ambulances and patrols”.
The KZN provincial government, however, dismissed the DA’s claims on its Covid-19 response plans as “fake news”.
“The provincial government of KZN notes with dismay the statement by the DA alleging that it had organised a rally and would like to clarify to the citizens that the premier and members of the provincial command council undertook a routine work of the command council and visited Clairwood Hospital,” the province said in a statement on Monday.
During the visit, the premier handed over thousands of N95 masks, the statement added.
“He then utilised the occasion to appreciate and motivate the frontline staff, who are manning the forward trenches in the fight against the spread of Covid-19.
“This was not a gathering as contemplated in the lockdown regulations, but an ongoing routine work to monitor the state of preparedness by the province to respond to Covid-19,” the province added.
The provincial government reiterated that “spreading or disseminating fake news in order to hog headlines during the lockdown is a violation of the regulations”.
News24 has reached out to the KZN SAPS for comment. It will be added once received.