Dlamini-Zuma alcohol Level 1

Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma briefs media on the risk adjusted strategy on re-opening the economy [Photo: GCIS]

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma criticism unwarranted, says ANC

In a statement issued out on Saturday, the ANC has thrown its weight behind Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Dlamini-Zuma alcohol Level 1

Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma briefs media on the risk adjusted strategy on re-opening the economy [Photo: GCIS]

The African National Congress (ANC) has slammed criticism aimed at Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, whose unpopularity in some quarters has grown exponentially over the past few months.

Tobacco cloud hangs over Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma 

The former Health Minister is seen as a central figure in the prohibition of liquor and tobacco sales during lockdown, with recent reports suggesting that she had pushed for the ban to continue until Level 1 restrictions are in place.

This has prompted widespread criticism on her part, as some accuse her of overruling President Cyril Ramaphosa, who had announced that tobacco sales would be allowed from the start of May, when the government eased lockdown restrictions.

 All eyes will be on Dlamini-Zuma once more in the coming days, as the country is expected to enter into Level 3 lockdown restrictions, and a cloud still remains over whether smokers and drinkers will rejoice when she sheds more light on what will accompany less stringent regulations.

The ANC has come out in her defence, saying she is being attacked for carrying out her duties.

“As the minister responsible for the coordination of our country’s national mitigation efforts, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma is engaged in discussions in Cabinet and the NCCC (National Coronavirus Command Council),” the party said in a statement issued out on Saturday.

“It must always be remembered that the decisions of Cabinet and the NCCC are collectively taken, and should never be individualised.

“It is entirely unacceptable that there are evidently wedge drivers, who are in the service of certain businesses. They maliciously attack and undermine our leaders.

“This is particularly blatant with regards to the proposed continuing ban on the sale of cigarettes, tobacco-related products and alcohol.

African National Congress

Those who do so show a callous lack of disregard for the health of our citizens, and seem only interested in crass profiteering.”

Support for ‘unpopular’ NDZ

The party reiterated its support of Dlamini-Zuma, along with President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize.

“We commend them for their selfless service, and the outstanding work that they carry out on behalf of our whole nation.”

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

Earlier, ANC secretary-general Jessie Duarte also came out in support of the Cogta Minister, imploring her critics to back off.

“Why don’t you back off and allow us as a country and a nation to make a democratic choice and decide who we want as our leadership? And we have done so, we chose her [Dlamini-Zuma] and we certainly cannot be choosing the tobacco industry,” she said.

Jessie Duarte

Ramaphosa is expected to address the nation on Sunday evening at 19:00.