It has emerged that ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe, ACDP MP Steve Swart and well known pastor Angus Buchan were among those to attend the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast hosted by the Divine Restoration Ministries in Ribblesdale, Bloemfontein, which was also attended by five people who have tested positive for Covid-19, according to Rapport.
On Friday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced that the five, all overseas visitors, who attended the church gathering had tested positive for the coronavirus.
The five are tourists – two from Texas in the United States, two from Israel and one from France – who arrived in South Africa between 9 and 11 March to attend the church gathering, which had over 200 people.
Following this, the Free State Department of Health is now preparing to test up to 600 people who may have been in contact with the congregants.
Swart told Rapport that he had put himself in isolation after he started feeling light symptoms associated with Covid-19. Buchan said he would go for a test. His daughter, Robyn McClean, said her father would remain in self-isolation until he knew his results.
Meshoe told Rapport that he feels fine and that he will go for a test once he feels symptoms.
On Wednesday, a week after the church meeting, Meshoe attended a meeting at Parliament along with President Cyril Ramaphosa and other political parties. He is seen in photos, standing next to the president. According to Rapport, the Presidency did not respond to questions on whether it was aware that Meshoe had been exposed to Covid-19.
DA leader John Steenhuisen, who also attended the meeting, told the publication that he felt fine and would test if necessary. FF Plus leader, Dr Pieter Groenewald, said that although he also felt fine, he would test as he didn’t want to expose his family to the virus.
News24 reported that a contact tracing programme has been activated to track the congregants who attended the church gathering because they were at high risk. To assist with the tracing, the South African Red Cross has stepped in and offered 282 volunteers.
SowetanLive reported on Friday that an intern in the Presidency’s office was sent home to self-isolate and to conduct a test after he reported to his manager that he may have come into contact with someone who had tested positive for Covid-19. Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko confirmed the incident to SowetanLive.
“Yes, we can confirm that an intern in the finance unit in the Presidency reported that he may have crossed paths with someone diagnosed with the coronavirus,” Diko reportedly said.
“The employee himself has not been diagnosed with the virus nor is he exhibiting any symptoms thereof.”
He would only be allowed to go back to work after testing and observing the prescribed 14-day quarantine period.