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Eastern Cape Health MEC Sindiswa Gomba’s personal messenger and ANC Youth League Regional Task Team Member, Ayanda Matinise, was arrested after being caught by the King William’s Town police on Saturday 1 August, transporting alcohol in a state vehicle.

Matinise was stopped at Buffalo Street in the King William’s Town CBD while trying to flee from the police.

Police Spokesperson, Colonel Sibongile Soci said Matinise had been charged with contravening the regulations of the Disaster Management Act, driving an unauthorized state vehicle and attempted bribery of South African Police Service members.

"Police received information about a state vehicle allegedly transporting liquor. During the police patrols, a vehicle fitting the description was spotted at Buffalo Street, but the driver accelerated when members tried to stop him. Police gave chase and managed to stop him. Upon searching the vehicle, liquor was recovered in the boot. The suspect, who was alone in the vehicle, was immediately arrested and charged," said Soci.

In a statement, the Gomba's Chief of Staff, Andile Sidinile stated that; "Eastern Cape Health MEC, Sindiswa Gomba, has learnt with shock how one of her core staff members took the department’s car without authorization and allegedly broke the law by allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol."

He continued that the ban of alcohol sales and the distribution thereof under national lockdown has indeed helped the department to focus more on the urgent fight against Covid-19.

Sidinile further stated that the MEC would like to put it on record that such behaviour will not be tolerated, and that such behaviour would lead to serious consequences.

MEC Gomba has condemned the official's alleged crime and stated that; "Such alleged behaviour does not only bring my office and the department into disrepute but, by extension, the entire provincial government and, as such, it is condemned with the contempt it deserves. We cannot have officials who break the law."

Gomba also added that such scandals would have no place in the government, and that whenever they do happen, the people of Eastern Cape must be rest assured that the department will act decisively and according to law.

"This is an embarrassment because officials in government are supposed to lead by example and not be the ones who break the law," the MEC said.

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