Publish date: 23 March 2020
Issue Number: 865
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
'Hundreds, if not thousands, of people may die while he is President. The economy, already emaciated and weakened, could crater further. Our health sector could collapse. In order to prevent this, the President must be uncompromising, something which goes against his grain. Ramaphosa needs to accept he is now a wartime President. And the virus is the enemy.'
– Analyst Pieter du Toit on the Covid-19 pandemic
'What we are witnessing is social solidarity in action, a defining feature of our nationhood. At times of crisis such as this one, it would be easy to surrender to the impulses of opportunism, greed and naked self-interest. History bears witness to the dark side of human nature that can be exposed when fear and panic takes hold. But as the South African nation we are standing firm. As we navigate our way through the difficult times that lie ahead, we must continue in the spirit of empathy and selflessness and move with unity of purpose. It is these attributes of our national character that won us our democracy and it is what will ensure our victory over this pandemic.
– President Cyril Ramaphosa
‘We don't have enough cases to say in Africa there are less transmissions. So let's take it that the virus can be transmitted by Africans in Africa.'
– Pontian Kaleebu, director of Uganda's Virus Research Institute, on a theory doing the rounds that Africa's climate will slow the spread of the Covid-19.
'The patient is a 38-year-old Caucasian man who travelled to Manchester in the UK on the 7th of March and returned to his home in Victoria Falls on the 15th of March via South Africa.'
– Health Minister Obadiah Moyo confirming the first case of coronavirus in Zimbabwe
‘I am here despite coronavirus to offer prayers to God. The Almighty Allah is the giver and taker of life. We should all pray and ask Him to take this strange disease from the world.'
– Alhaja Basirat Okeowo, the chief imam in Lagos who announced the cancellation of a special Sunday service and directed the faithful to observe it in their homes.