SA’s rich and poor left at the mercy of coronavirus

Johannesburg – The COVID-19 pandemic will certainly come to define the year 2020, not only to the rich and powerful but all the country, as it affected and infected both affluent and less affluent.

Powerful politicians, influential businessmen and women, high-ranking government officials, celebrities and ordinary citizens were hard hit by the virus, leading to some indirectly becoming the face of the pandemic in the country.

The coronavirus has collapsed most countries’ health systems and tested their responses since its emergence late last year.

In South Africa we have experienced a mixed bag The virus has not only caused damage with many people losing their lives but many also survived, all thanks to government’s response, which included the country being put on a lockdown in five phases.

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On the political front, the ANC appears to have been the most hard-hit party by the virus as it lost at least two political figures in North West and Kwa- Zulu-Natal, while many other senior leaders were infected, including Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, who has since recovered.

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – JULY 20: Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku and Minister Zweli Mkhize visit Nascrec Hospital on July 20, 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa. According to a media release, the visit forms part of monitoring state of readiness as COVID-19 cases are increasing in Gauteng and also support staff that is working during the pandemic. (Photo by Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo)

Unfortunately, the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal lost its spokesperson Ricardo Mthembu to COVID-19. Mthembu allegedly contracted the disease at a party he hosted at which some of the partygoers, including himself did not adhere to COVID-19 protocols.

At least eight more people in the party tested positive for the virus.

North West MEC for cooperative governance and human settlement Gordon Kegakilwe died of COVID-19 pneumonia in July.

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Kegakilwe’s death was followed by the infection of his boss, North West Premier Job Mokgoro, who later recovered.

The virus also claimed the life of UDM leader and former Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Mongameli Bobani Another ANC Gauteng leader as well as Premier David Makhura also contracted the virus in August while two heads of department in the Gauteng provincial government also tested positive.

They have since recovered.

In Limpopo, MEC for economic development, environment and tourism Thabo Mokone also recovered from the virus.

An ANC leader in Western Cape, Marius Fransman, also tested positive for COVID-19 after travelling abroad.

He later recovered from the infectious disease. ACDP party leader and MP Rev Kenneth Meshoe was also diagnosed with COVID-19 but he too recovered after self-isolating and medical treatment.

Locally, a total of 12 celebrities tested positive for the coronavirus and among them are rapper Kiernan Forbes, popularly known as AKA, former SABC2 Muvhango actress Lerato Zah Moloi, Netball South Africa president Cecilia Molokwane, Uzalo Actor Khaya Dladla, The Queen actors Mlamli Mangcala and Abdul Khoza, singer Brian Temba and Zola Hashatsi.

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Power couple Gail and Kabelo Mabalane also announced that they had contracted the virus some time during the lockdown but had since recovered.

The same goes to Isibaya actress Enhle Mbali Mlotshwa.


She announced that despite being extra careful, she had also contracted the virus and had quarantined.

Internationally, stars such as Idris Elba, Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta contracted the virus, but have all recovered.

Former Real Madrid and Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo also contracted the virus but has also since recovered.

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