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Suspended Stella gets her groove on…

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… angers Tweeps and sets the record straight

UPDATED:

Johannesburg – Suspended Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has angered social media users after a video was posted on Twitter on Tuesday night of her dancing gleefully next to what appears to be a lavish new black BMW sedan.  

Sakhile Njoko (@The_Njoko) said that the video was inappropriate. “People are confined to their homes, sick, dying and losing their jobs yet Minister @Stellarated is having a good time. It says she doesn’t care. She’s also publicly saying the sanction @CyrilRamaphosa imposed on her hasn’t affected her. A middle finger!” 

This is so inappropriate. People are confined to their homes, sick, dying & losing their jobs yet Minister@Stellarated is having a good time. It says she doesn’t care. She’s also publicly saying the sanction@CyrilRamaphosa imposed on her hasn’t affected her. A middle finger!https://t.co/bQap0TLnV7

— Sakhile Njoko (@The_Njoko)April 29, 2020

In another post, marcel (@marcel_za) wrote: “Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams wants to thank every taxpayer for making her realize her dreams.” 

Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams wants to thank every taxpayer for making her realize her dreamspic.twitter.com/L5ZkpomSyu

— marcel (@marcel__za)April 29, 2020

MKMVA spokesperson Carl Niehaus (@niehaus_carl) also had some strong views: “This photo and that video should be looked at together. The long suffering selfless loyalty of our #ANC members, compared to displays of conspicuous consumption and arrogance of some of our leaders is shameful. The time for self-correction and ending this nonsense is long overdue!” 

This photo & that video should be looked at together … The long suffering selfless loyalty of our#ANC members, compared to displays of conspicuous consumption & arrogance of some of our leaders is shameful. The time for self-correction, & ending this nonsense is long overdue!pic.twitter.com/83K5hj1XK4

— Carl Niehaus (@niehaus_carl)April 29, 2020

But some thought it was no big deal.

Come on guys, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the video. She’s just a human being having a good time in her big beautiful HOME with a garden, with a car that she can afford given her being the Minister.

— The Patriot™ (@setsopo)April 28, 2020

On Thursday morning Ndabeni-Abrahams hit back at critics pointing out that car dealerships are closed during lockdown.

pic.twitter.com/Roa5xNajki

— Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams (@Stellarated)April 30, 2020

Ndabeni-Abrahams is currently on two months special leave for contravening the country’s Covid-19 regulations. One of the two months would be unpaid, South Africans were told.   

While the annus horribilis that is 2020 is only four months old, this is the third time this year that Ndabeni-Abrahams has been a hot topic on South African social media community for all the wrong reasons

Ndabeni-Abrahams left viewers puzzled when, responding to allegations that she had whisked her husband away on a trip to Switzerland to celebrate their anniversary with taxpayers money, she said in a live television interview that she had taken a trip to Geneva, but not to Switzerland.

“I have never been to Switzerland. My husband has never been to Switzerland. We went to Geneva and New York, of course to do the work I am expected to do,” she confidently opined at the time, before later on clarifying that she had meant France and not Geneva. 

Last month with the country in the infancy of a government-imposed 21 day lockdown, Ndabeni-Abrahams found herself having to put out more fires following an Instagram post by her ANC comrade and friend Mduduzi Manana, a former deputy minister of Higher Education.

Manana posted a picture in which he appeared with Ndabeni-Abrahams and other people enjoying a Sunday lunch. He deleted it after public backlash in which South Africans called for swift action from President Cyril Ramaphosa against Ndabeni-Abrahams for breaking lockdown regulations. 

She was placed on special leave by Ramaphosa and forced to apologise to South Africans. She was summoned to appear at the Pretoria district court where she pleaded guilty for contravening lockdown regulations and paid a R1000 fine for her trouble. 

Ndabeni-Abrahams has hit back at people who have criticised her for a video in which she is seen dancing to a Mafikizolo song next to a black BMW sedan without licence plates.

Critics of the video on social media said that Ndabeni-Abrahams, who earlier this month was placed on two months special leave by President Cyril Ramaphosa for violating lockdown regulations, was disrespecting the regulations.  

However, in a statement today she said that the video had been shot a year ago, after the May 8 general elections.

“I have noted media reports about a video that is circulated on a number of social media platforms including but not limited to WhatsApp groups and Twitter purporting to show me celebrating the arrival of a new car during the lockdown period. 

“For the record I would like to point out that this video was shot a year ago after elections. It’s unfortunate that some media houses have published this video without verifying the facts around it,” Ndabeni-Abrahams said.

She added that despite critics of the video claiming that the car was new, car dealerships were closed due to the lockdown period and that she was currently at home in line with the lockdown regulations “which require citizens to remain at home and observe social distancing rules”. 

Ndabeni-Abrahams said that it was malicious and mischievous for people to portray her as a person with no remorse and insensitively displays opulence at the face of the poor. 

“I humbly call on all involved, whether in raising their opinions or circulating it, to avoid the temptations of sensationalism without first verifying the facts,” said Ndabeni-Abrahams.   

Political Bureau