They said it …

5 August 2020: ‘Despite the surge, we have not seen a significant increase in deaths. Whilst we are cautiously optimistic, it is still too early for us to make definite conclusions regarding the observed decline. We need to continue to track all these indicators and ensure that our testing capacity reflects a realist picture of our epidemiological status. We will therefore only know for sure when there is a consistent decline over a period’ (Health Minister Zweli Mkize) …

4 August 2020: ‘The ANC is outraged and deeply embarrassed by recent allegations that some, including its own leaders and members, have sought to benefit unlawfully from the devastating suffering and impoverishment caused by the Covid-19 pandemic’ (national executive committee media statement) …

3 August 2020: ‘We must intensify the struggle to end the tenderisation of the state, the corruption it breeds and tackle its associated tendencies, tenderpreneurs and their Covid-19 manifestation, the covidpreneurs‘ (Higher Education, Science & Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande, in his capacity as South African Communist Party General Secretary) … 

31 July 2020: ‘Whilst we condemn farm murders, we should endeavour not to give in to playing partisan politics by politicising what is a broader societal issue that cuts across political and ideological divides’ (Deputy President David Mabuza) ….

Thanks, Zapiro …

3 August 2020: ‘Attempting to profit from a disaster that is claiming the lives of our people every day is the action of scavengers. It is like a pack of hyenas circling wounded prey’ (President Cyril Ramaphosa) …

31 July 2020: ‘Permitting hunters to sleep over at their hunting destinations, within the province in which they live, is in line with this week’s Cabinet decision to ease restrictions around leisure travel’ (Forestry, Fisheries & Environment Minister Barbara Creecy, referring to ‘travel within a province with the primary purpose to hunt … to obtain … meat for consumption’ ) …

31 July 2020: ‘The Department of Water & Sanitation strongly condemns the thuggish dumping and wastage of precious water meant for needy communities around Pongola in KwaZulu-Natal, especially as the country battles with the Covid-19 pandemic’ (media statement) …

27 July 2020: Covid-19 health communications centres have been ‘inundated with calls’ from Vodacom customers ever since short code 111 (which, traditionally, has been used to access Vodacom customer care) was introduced in April as the Covid-19 national emergency services number (Independent Communications Authority of South Africa notice, calling for comment on an alternative short code) …

24 July 2020: In his budget vote speech, Police Minister Bheki Cele conceded that ‘political killings remain a stubborn phenomenon’ …

24 July 2020: With South Africa ranked fifth in the world for the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases, opposition party interim leader John Steenhuisen wrote, ‘Covid-19 must be politicised when the ANC’s politics have failed South Africa’ …

23 July 2020: In an address to the nation updating South Africans on progress in government’s efforts to contain Covid-19, President Cyril Ramaphosa said, ‘Increasingly, we are hearing allegations about fraudulent UIF claims, overpricing of goods and services, violation of emergency procurement regulations, collusion between officials and service providers, abuse of food parcel distribution and the creation of fake non-profit organisations to access relief funding’ …

22 July 2020: The Commission for Gender Equality issued a statement expressing shock at the ‘alleged rape of a 61-year-old grandmother and her 21 year-old daughter in Dobsonville, Soweto’ – calling for ‘a move from rhetorical statements to more concrete actions … (in) dealing with gender-based violence … and … related atrocities’ …

22 July 2020: The Western Cape government issued a statement condemning recent ‘violent and destructive protests and land invasions’ that have ‘resulted in injuries (and) damage to property’ and that ‘will impact government’s ability to provide key services to … (the province’s) most vulnerable residents’ …

21 July 2020: Agriculture, Land Reform & Rural Development Deputy Minister Sdumo Dlamini delivered a budget vote speech in which he quoted a line from the Freedom Charter, which says, ‘All shall have the right to occupy land wherever they choose’ …

18 July 2020: ‘We are extremely concerned that fatigue seems to have set in and South Africans are letting down their guard at a time when the spread of infection is surging. We see poor or no social distancing in communities. Masks are being abandoned or not worn properly and there is laxity setting in around frequent hand-washing.’ (Health Minister Zweli Mkhize) …