A petition started by the African National Congress Women’s League calls to ‘South Africans’ to keep Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as Minister of Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs.
The petition which has now gathered close to 5K signatures comes after a week of lashes to CoGTA Minister Dlamini-Zuma after she announced that tobacco products will not be for sale in South Africa during lockdown Stage 4.
Ramaphosa had initially said the sales of cigarettes will be permitted on lockdown Stage 4. However, following much scrutinizes by the public, with many suggesting that Dlamini-Zuma defiled Ramaphosa’s orders, President announced on his weekly letter on Monday that the decision was a collective one.
“On 23 April, I announced that cigarette sales would be permitted during level 4. This was based on the view of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC), and which was contained in the draft framework that was published for consulation,” Ramaphosa said in a letter.
“After careful consideration and discussion, the NCCC reconsidered its position on tobacco. As a result, the regulations ratified by Cabinet and announced by Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on 29 April extended the prohibition.
“This was a collective decision and the public statements by both myself and the Minister were done on behalf of, and mandated by, the collective I lead,” says the President.
The ANC Women’s League maintains that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has become a de facto prime minister figure in South Africa following her announcement to ban tobacco products.
“An anti-tobacco advocate of at least three decades standing, her power is also clear from the continued ban on the sale of cigarettes and tobacco-related products,” the petition noted.
The league says this is an important public health battle that will benefit all South Africans to not be infected by the COVID-19 Virus.