South Africa’s response to the emerging Corona virus reveals great divisions within the South African government, following recent decisions by President Cyril Ramavusa.
South African President Cyril Ramavusa has been praised for his approach to dealing with the emerging epidemic of the Coronavirus.
But Ramavusa risks a violent response from his citizens after members of his government turned on the measures he adopted, and made statements described as racist, Bloomberg news agency reported Monday.
And South Africa announced the first case of the deadly virus on the fifth of last March, and imposed a strict ban after three weeks, as schools and companies were closed and everyone committed to their homes, except for workers in the basic fields.
With the country recording fewer than 7,000 confirmed cases of the virus, out of 59 million people who are the country's population, and one of the most extensive testing and testing programs in Africa, Ramaphosa's health policy seemed to be bearing fruit.
However, while Ramavusa and Health Minister Zwylie Mcheese received praise after they clarified the approach to dealing with the deadly virus, they showed sympathy for those at risk of losing their income.
Some of the ministers adopted rules described as arbitrary and playing against the tendency of racial hostility. This has sparked accusations that the authorities have gone on with this behavior and undermined Ramafossa's gains at the start of the crisis.
"There are serious weaknesses for some ministers ... for making divisive statements," said Nick Porin, an independent economist. "There is a certain authoritarian tendency in both the police and the legislature," and the debate has centered around the ban on selling cigarettes and exercising.
In a speech to the President on April 23, Ramavusa announced that it is possible to resume selling cigarettes and exercising outdoors as of May, as part of measures to ease the closure to the fourth level of the fifth level, which is more severe.
Six days later, his decision to lift the ban on the sale of cigarettes was changed by his former rival to the leadership of the ANC, Kusazana Dlamini-Zuma, who is currently working as Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
Dlamini-Zuma limited outdoor exercise between only six and nine in the morning.
Since then, more than 400,000 people have signed a petition to refuse to ban the sale of cigarettes. British American Tobacco Plc says it is considering legal action.
Other rules have been increasingly mocked, with more than 17,000 people arrested within one week for not complying with them.