ACDP statement on COVID 19 test results of Rev Kenneth Meshoe and Steve Swart MP

African Christian Democratic Party

27 March 2020

ACDP Parliament

Media Statement

Wayne Thring MP, ACDP Deputy President

ACDP statement on COVID 19 test results of party leader, Rev Kenneth Meshoe and Steve Swart MP

It is now common knowledge that the President of the African Christian Democratic Party, Rev Kenneth Meshoe MP and Mr Steve Swart MP, were present at the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast held on 10 and 11 March 2020 at the Divine Restoration Ministries in Ribblesdale, Bloemfontein. This prayer breakfast took place before the β€œ100 people gathering limit” pronounced on 16 March 2020.

Five visitors at the breakfast, two from the USA, two from Israel and one from France, started to feel unwell over the weekend of 14-15 March and had Coronavirus tests done around 16-17 March. The results of these tests were made known on 19-20 March, with the five visitors testing positive for COVID-19.

It must be mentioned that during this period, Rev Meshoe, who displayed no symptoms of the virus, was not aware of the health status of the visitors at the Prayer Breakfast (who had also passed through airport screenings), and hence attended the briefing of political party leaders, on 18 March, hosted by President Cyril Ramaphosa at Parliament.

The ACDP President was only subsequently informed about the results of the visitors’ tests on 20 March.

He immediately went into self containment and made himself available for testing, where he was tested by the Health Department on Sunday, 22 March. Mr Steve Swart, who had experienced mild flu-like symptoms had also self-isolated and had his test done on Monday 23 March.

Regrettably, many media houses reported that both Rev Meshoe and Mr Swart had tested positive – before they had even both been tested. This contradicts the media ethics code and caused much trauma to their families and colleagues. The press has the responsibility to disseminate information that is true, factual and accurate.

The ACDP can, however, now confirm that both Rev Kenneth Meshoe and Mr Steve Swart have tested positive for the Coronavirus.

Rev Meshoe displays no symptoms and remains in good health. Mr Swart, who has experienced mild flu-like symptoms, is recovering well. Both have been self-isolating, together with their close families.

It is unfortunate that Rev Meshoe had to wait five days for the outcome of his test, and had to call the Health Department numerous times for the outcome. This has placed unnecessary stress on him, and his family, and has also resulted in unwarranted speculation in the media. Nonetheless, the ACDP wishes to thank the medical staff in both the public and private spheres who attended to Rev Meshoe and Mr Swart, and indeed all other medical staff who are on the frontline of the battle against this pandemic. We are deeply grateful to them and pray for their protection.

In addition, Rev Meshoe is also grateful to President Ramaphosa for the gracious manner in dealing with his meeting with Rev Meshoe. The ACDP can confirm that the President of South Africa has spoken to Rev Meshoe and has given his support to the Meshoe family. We are pleased that President Ramaphosa has tested negative.

Lastly, the ACDP wishes to convey its condolences and prayers to the two families who have recently lost loved ones after becoming infected with the virus. Our hope and trust is in our God and with Him, we are able to overcome all things, including this COVID-19 pandemic.

Response to 21 Day Lockdown by President Cyril Ramaphosa

Response to 21 Day Lockdown by President Cyril Ramaphosa

As the nation waited with bated breath, the African Christian Democratic Party, (ACDP) welcomes with some concern, the pronouncement by President Cyril Ramaphosa to place the nation on a 21 day lockdown, effective Thursday, 26 March 2020.

With the current number of infections dramatically increasing to 402 in the last week, defeating this epidemic requires the buy-in and leadership of all South Africans.

Our economy is already in a precarious position. We are in a technical recession, and the last rating agency, Moody’s may have no option but to downgrade SA to Junk status.

This lockdown will certainly have lasting implications on our fragile economy. In the light of this, the ACDP welcomes the speedy prosecution of those who would seek to profiteer from this crisis.

The ACDP also welcomes the attempt by President Ramaphosa to consult all stakeholders on a way forward to help curb the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

It is the belief of the ACDP that religious organizations, civil society and community organisations must be engaged at a greater level of intensity, on the implementation of the lock down interventions. The majority of these organisations represent the poor, the economically and socially marginalized, and the setting of plans and regulations that do not include these voices could be detrimental for the country.

Many have called for a total lock down of the country, but with 17 million South Africans surviving on less than R3500 a month, and living in cramped spaces, it is this vulnerable group that are most at risk. These families live hand to mouth, relying on the meagre incomes for food and other necessities.

The majority of South Africans are poor, and this is a reality the government cannot shy away from.

The ACDP salutes those financial institutions and other big businesses that have already released plans to help small business owners over the next three months. This assistance also needs to be extended to poor households.

For retail, factory and informal traders, every hour at work is important. A 21 day shut down would mean that millions may go without pay, on the ‘no-work, no-pay’ principle.

The ACDP therefore welcomes the steps announced to alleviate the economic impact on individuals and businesses, and await full details as to how access to this assistance will be fast tracked.

We support the President’s plea to Companies to avoid retrenching workers, as far as is possible, and to access support that will be made available.

The ACDP called for the following interventions, some of which was covered by the President in his address:

β€’ A freeze on UIF payments and a utilization of these funds to assist small business. An extension of the payment period of business loans. No penalties for late SARS submissions.

β€’ 50% Increase of social grants over the next three months

β€’ 50% cut on electricity and water bills for the next three months, which will not be added to bills after the state of disaster is lifted

β€’ Community clinics to be prioritized with free Covid-19 testing equipment and training of staff and community-based primary health care workers.

β€’ Identification of additional local buildings/institutions that can used as temporary hospitals should the needs arise

β€’ Ensure that proper sanitation and water is provided to all communities

The ACDP continues to call for communities, churches and South Africans at large to pray and to stand together in our fight against the virus, Covid-19.

As a nation we have faced many challenges, and as we face this pandemic, we can defeat it and come out stronger.

LETTER TO MEMBERS – CORONA VIRUS UPDATE

LETTER TO MEMBERS – CORONA VIRUS UPDATE

From Kenneth Meshoe .MP
ACDP President

17 March 2020

Dear ACDP friends

Greetings in the blessed name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

We are definitely living in extraordinary times. At the time of writing this, more than 185,000 people across the world have been infected with the Coronavirus (Covid-19), and the number of deaths is increasing by the day. Many flights have been cancelled, some businesses shut down and schools and universities closed.

Tomorrow, President Ramaphosa will be meeting with me and other political party leaders to discuss interventions to combat Covid-19 following his declaration of a national state of disaster on Sunday 15 March 2020. I will update you with any relevant feedback from this meeting in due course.

DON’T PANIC

Remember that Job 3:25 says, β€œWhat I feared has come upon me, what I dreaded has happened to me.” Allowing yourself to become stressed and fearful will put you at a greater risk of becoming ill.

LET THE PRINCE OF PEACE BE YOUR ANCHOR

As Christians we should remember that God’s Word promises protection to all those who trust in the Lord, including in times when we face pandemics such as we have today. There is no reason to fear this crisis. When panic or fear tries to grip your heart or those around you, here are a few scriptures to remember and feed your spirit on:

God is our refuge and strength (Psalm 46:1, Psalm 62:8)
God is our strong tower (Proverbs 18:10, Psalm 61:3)
God is our rock, strength, refuge and shield (Psalm 18:2, Psalm 37:39, Psalm 144:2)
God is our shield (Psalm 3:3, Psalm 7:10, Psalm 33:20)

In addition to the abovementioned scriptures, take time to meditate on Psalm 91 each day.

PRACTICE EVERYDAY PREVENTATIVE BEHAVIOURS

Remember that faith without works is dead. Our hope, confidence and trust are in the Lord Jesus Christ, yet we also have a responsibility to act wisely and practically.

To avoid infection, we should – in addition to fervent prayer that availeth much – do all we can to strengthen our immune systems, because that is our body’s main defense against infection and illness. A strong and healthy immune system will go a long way to fight this virus.

Below are a few additional preventative tips we should observe if we want to remain healthy.

β€’ Wash your hands with soap thoroughly and frequently.
β€’ Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
β€’ Stay home if you are sick.
β€’ Sleep well. Inadequate or poor quality sleep can increase your chances of catching a virus by up to five times. Make sure you give yourself the opportunity to get at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep every night.
β€’ Exercise – but not to excess.
β€’ Eat well. Ditch the junk food and rather focus on eating a variety of whole foods, ensuring that you include plant foods that are colourful, and rich in antioxidants and micronutrients.
β€’ Use supplements such as vitamins C, D and Zinc. Probiotics are also very important to add to your daily intake of vitamins.

May the Lord continue to bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you.

Yours in Christ,
REV KENNETH MESHOE MP
ACDP President