NATIONAL NEWS - Cope has criticised Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula for disregarding the rules and regulations of the national lockdown when he addressed hundreds of people at a taxi rank in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
Many on social media found fault with Mbalula for addressing the crowd of people, whose numbers went against the 100-person limit.
In a statement on Thursday, Cope said this was “totally irresponsible” of the minister and was a “sheer disregard for the rules and regulations of the lockdown and, in particular, of social distancing”.
The party’s spokesperson Dennis Bloem said: “We can’t believe what we have seen in full view of the media.
“It is very clear that Mbalula is working against the efforts of President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize who are working tirelessly to save the lives of people.”
The party questioned whether Mbalula was not part of the Covid-19 national command council.
This after the minister on Wednesday night backtracked on a decision he took hours earlier to allow taxis to carry a full load of passengers.
The minister rescinded the decision back to 70% loading capacity for taxis.
Cope questioned who had taken the decision to allow taxis to carry a full load.
“Is he a law unto himself?” Bloem asked.
He said the party called upon Ramaphosa to take strong action against “this loose cannon called Mbalula, who is putting the lives of people in danger”.
The party expressed its gratitude to Mkhize for the “sterling job” he had done amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
“He is transparent and keeping the country up to date on a daily basis. This is highly appreciated. We would like to also thank his family for allowing him to serve the nation in this way. We are aware that he may not have time for his family and we thank them for understanding.
“We also want to thank the police, soldiers, medical personal, social workers, psychologists and cleaners at hospitals and clinics for their selfless contribution by putting their own lives in danger to save our lives.