President Ramaphosa ‘too sick to work’, minister confirms

Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu has confirmed that Cyril Ramaphosa is ‘too sick’ to carry out his duties on Monday. The head of state missed a key meeting with the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu), who had asked to discuss their demands for worker safety and salary guarantees.


Speaking to the media on Monday afternoon, Mthembu said that the president was ‘in the blankets’, inferring that Ramaphosa wasn’t just phoning this one in for a ‘sickie’. We’ve all done it on a Monday, Cyril…

Mthembu played down the suggestions that this was a particularly debilitating illness – and believes that President Ramaphosa would be able to meet with Nehawu again later this week, predicting that he’d be fine by Wednesday. We understand that this is not linked to any sort of COVID-19 diagnosis.

“The only person who can deal with these issues properly and listen to what Nehawu has to say is our president and he is available to meet them on Wednesday, because today he is really sick. He is in the blankets as we speak.”

Jackson Mthembu, Minister in the Presidency, on Cyril Ramaphosa’s illness


Nehawu believes that, while their demands aren’t being met, healthcare workers’ lives are being put in danger every time they enter their places of work. Much to the group’s frustration, they will have to wait another 48 hours before securing an audience with President Ramaphosa – here’s hoping he gets well soon, because Nehawu doesn’t have time to waste:

“The inaction by the President is to the detriment of our members who are getting infected on a daily basis by the coronavirus, losing their lives and dying of hunger as they are denied their salary increases and bonuses as public servants and risk allowance or motivational incentives for frontline worker.” 

Nehawu statement

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