African Christian Democratic Party
27 March 2020
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 “100 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.