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Ndabeni-Abrahams pays admission of guilt fine

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Minister of communications and digital technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.
Minister of communications and digital technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.

Communication and digital technologies minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has paid a R1 000 fine for contravening the national lockdown regulations.

This is according to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), saying Ndabeni-Abrahams paid the R1 000 admission of guilt fine on 21 April.

President Cyril Ramaphosa put Ndabeni-Abrahams on special leave for two months, one month without pay, after a picture showing the minister in violation of government-imposed lockdown rules surfaced on social media.

The photograph in question shows the minister having lunch at former higher education deputy minister Mduduzi Manana’s home, contrary to what the lockdown regulations stipulate.

The under-fire Ndabeni-Abrahams has since apologised for her actions via a statement as well as a video shared on Facebook.

In a statement, the NPA says Ndabeni-Abrahams was charged with contravention of regulation 11 B of the Disaster Management Act and was served with summons to appear in the Pretoria District Court on 22 May, with an admission of guilt fine of R1 000 set.

“The admission of guilt fine is as per determination by the senior magistrate of the Magisterial District of Tshwane, where the amount of R1 000 has been set for the offence of failure to confine oneself to his/her place of residence.

“The state alleged that, on 5 April, Ndabeni-Abrahams unlawfully and unintentionally failed to remain confined in her place of residence by visiting Mr Mduduzi Manana’s place of residence. The investigations revealed that the visit was not for purposes of rendering essential service or obtaining essential goods, collecting a grant or seeking [medical] attention as per requirements of the COVID-19 regulations.”

The NPA highlights it remains committed in delivering justice without fear, favour or prejudice. “This penalty should send a message that all citizens are equal in the eyes of the law,” it concludes.

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