Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu vaccinations

MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu / Image via Twitter

DA claims KZN health MEC tried to ‘block’ COVID-19 vaccinations

KZN Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu has issued a fiery response to the DA’s claims regarding the COVID-19 vaccinations.

Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu vaccinations

MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu / Image via Twitter

The Democratic Alliance (DA), on Wednesday 17 February 2021, issued a statement claiming that KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu gave an instruction that healthcare workers should deter from vaccinations.   

DA KZN Spokesperson on Health Dr Rishigen Viranna said the MEC’s instruction was made on an Albert Luthuli Hospital COVID-19 Vaccine WhatsApp group. Viranna said she ordered that the vaccinations of some 40 healthcare workers, scheduled to take place at the hospital on Wednesday, be stopped. Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, has since issued a fiery response, stating that the DA is telling blatant lies.

On Wednesday, SA’s first healthcare worker got a jab of the COVID-19 vaccine, so did President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.  


Viranna said it is difficult to comprehend why Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu would make “such a move”.

“The DA can only assume that the reason the MEC stopped the vaccinations is because she wanted to be there today [Wednesday]. The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature is currently conducting school functionality oversight inspections. Traditionally, MECs join these oversight visits as district champions. That she would place her own ego above the lives of 40 healthcare workers, beggars belief,” said Viranna. 

“There can be no good reason for the delay of even a single vaccine and the DA calls on the team at Albert Luthuli Hospital to defy the MEC’s instruction and to continue with the vaccinations. It is the right thing to do,” the DA added. 

The DA also called on Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu to either confirm or deny her instruction. 

“In the event that she does not respond within 24 hours, the DA will write to Premier Sihle Zikalala and request that he institute a full enquiry into MEC Simelane-Zulu’s fitness to hold office,” it added. 


In a statement, issued by the MEC herself, she said she has noted the attempts by the DA to “hijack, distort and misrepresent” plans for the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out programme in the province. 

“This is a typical DA modus operandi: creating a smokescreen and telling blatant lies in a desperate bid to grab the media headlines. This time, they have shamefully tried to steal the limelight ahead of our official launch of the vaccination programme tomorrow,” she said. 

“Contrary to the lies being peddled by the DA, we did not ‘block’ any healthcare workers from being vaccinated today. We have always said that our vaccinations will start a day or two after the National Department of Health. This is to ensure that the process goes off smoothly. That is why our properly planned-for launch will be conducted tomorrow, with the Premier,” she added. 

Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said the grandstanding by the DA is really unnecessary and once again exposes a “shallow, desperate and self-serving” party that will stop at nothing to associated itself with a process that has absolutely nothing to do with it.  

“We will not bow to any pressure from the DA, or from any other supposed stakeholder or pressure group, who want to pursue an agenda that seeks to serve them and not the people of KwaZulu-Natal. We also want to caution staff who want to get ahead of internal processes, or those who leak false information to the media, that such conduct will not be tolerated,” she added.