Gwede Mantashe petrol

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Mantashe clears the air: ‘I’ve been admitted to a public hospital’

Mantashe’s comment follows social media backlash around ministers being hospitalised in private over public hospitals for COVID-19.

Gwede Mantashe petrol

Image via: flickr

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has taken to Twitter in an effort to defend himself. This comes after social media tore into the topic of whether ministers such as himself are being hospitalised in private or public hospitals for COVID-19. 

Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu recently announced that Mantashe and his wife Nolwande tested positive for COVID-19.

“Today, Minister Mantashe was admitted to hospital on the advice of their family doctor for better medical attention and monitoring, whilst Mrs Mantashe will continue to self-quarantine at their home,” said Mthembu.

Not long after Mantashe’s admission for further monitoring of his condition, the Twitter streets warmed up. 


Mantashe took to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon making it clear that he is recovering from COVID-19 in a public hospital. 

“I have been admitted at a public hospital for medical attention [and] monitoring,” he said. 

“I am doing well. Thanks to the healthcare workers. Thanks [for] your messages of support for my family [and] all persons who have been infected [and] affected by this virus,” he added. 

Following the announcements that Mantashe and Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi were hospitalised after becoming infected with COVID-19, Twitter lit up like a well-oiled Christmas tree. 


When social media users heard that Mantashe and Nxesi were to be hospitalised, they couldn’t help but mention what it’s like for ordinary South Africans who are in need of healthcare. 

“Mantashe and Thulas Nxesi are in private hospitals while south Africans sleep on the floor in their own countries,” said one user. 

Another requested that ministers be hospitalised in public hospitals provided for black people. 

“Can the politicians falling sick as a result of contracting COVID-19 be taken to the public hospitals they provide for black people? Can Gwede Mantashe and Thulas Nxesi be taken to Baragwanath Hospital, Tembisa Hospital, Mthatha General Hospital [or] Khayelitsha hospital?” 

Another user said ministers should be treated like every other South African, without any special treatment.  

“Gwede Mantashe and Thulas Nxesi must go to public hospitals just like all of us, they must not be treated special. They must not send people to hospitals which they won’t go to themselves.” 

Another asked for a selfie saying: “We wish you a speedy recovery Minister, no matter which hospital you at. Your health first and politics after. Having said that, send us a selfie in the mean time.”