ANC accused of using COVID-19 to seize control in the Western Cape

The ANC has been accused of leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to take control of the DA-led Western Cape.

The Western Cape is a hotspot for coronavirus cases in South Africa, recording 30,379 cases of COVID-19 as of 6 June.

729 deaths have been recorded in the province, and the Western Cape comprises 66% of all cases recorded in South Africa.

Sources within the Democratic Alliance reportedly told the Sunday Times that ANC’s intervention in the Western Cape which is aimed at addressing coronavirus hotspots seems to be an attempt at a “coup” in the province.

The deployment of high-profile ministers to Western Cape hotspots has caused unease among the provincial government, the report said.

“It seems there is a coup d’etat from national to administratively start taking over certain aspects of the Western Cape by neutralising the provincial government,” a senior official within the provincial government told the Sunday Times.

Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu denied this accusation, and Western Cape Premier Alan Winde stated that he would not politicise the provincial government’s management of the pandemic.

War against coronavirus

President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that South Africa remains “at war” against the coronavirus and will have to find additional resources to limit casualties.

The worst of the pandemic is yet to come, Ramaphosa said during his visit to the Western Cape on Friday 5 June.

“We have decided that COVID-19 is a war that we need to fight and win and therefore we are going to allocate the resources that are necessary,” he said.

Ramaphosa added that he would heed calls by city officials to help them access additional resources such as testing kits and medical staff.

“Cost is not the issue here, saving lives is the main issue,” Ramaphosa said. “Funding will be made available.”

Dispute over projections

Pandemics, Data, and Analytics (PANDA) coordinators argued that there has been a breathtaking failure by COVID-19 modellers whose coronavirus death predictions for South Africa amounted to scaremongering.

PANDA co-ordinator Nick Hudson said the official modelling of South Africa’s projected mortalities from COVID-19 started at 375,000.

Hudson said this extremely high mortality figure “scared the living daylights” out of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

He said that, over time, these forecasts have been significantly reduced to 40,000 mortalities, which they still believe is a drastic over-estimate.

Hudson argued that based on the findings of a more accurate exponentiating state model, South Africa’s next move should be to lower lockdown restrictions to level 1 and alleviate the strain on the economy.

Now read: 45,973 cases of COVID-19 in South Africa

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ANC accused of using COVID-19 to seize control in the Western Cape