Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, speaking to the SABC on Wednesday, said the Free State’s coronavirus tally jumped because of 30 confirmed cases from a church in Bloemfontein.
The Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast hosted by the Divine Restoration Ministries in Bloemfontein saw five Covid-19-infected foreigners from the US, Israel and France taking part. Government was still looking for some of the 300 people who were there, Mkhize said.
ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe, ACDP MP Steve Swart and Buchan attended, and were also tested, with Buchan subsequently testing positive.
“The [five foreigners] subsequently developed symptoms and were thereafter quarantined in their rooms at the bed and breakfast they were residing in. Since then they have remained quarantined in that B&B and the staff that come into contact with the patients have also been quarantined within the B&B,” Mkhize said last week.
In a statement on Thursday, the Presidency announced that President Cyril Ramaphosa had tested negative for the novel coronavirus after possibly coming into contact with a political leader who had attended the same church service.
On Sunday, the Presidency welcomed the announcement by Rev Kenneth Meshoe, the leader of the African Christian Democratic Party, that he was tested too.
Diko said Meshoe was among the leaders of political parties represented in Parliament who met Ramaphosa in Cape Town last Tuesday.
Meshoe would therefore also have been with the leaders of other major parties, including the EFF’s Julius Malema and interim DA leader John Steenhuisen.
Diko said Meshoe had thus far been asymptomatic since his participation in that gathering. He, however, announced on social media on Sunday that he had been tested. He had not yet announced his results on Thursday.
Buchan last year controversially announced that he would be holding an event at a stadium on February 1, 2020, called Staan Op Vir Jesus. While all would be welcome at the event, Buchan explained that “this time the emphasis will be on the Afrikaner nation”.
“We are calling out to God, remembering only two nations have ever been in covenant with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They are the Jewish people and the Afrikaans people, that is a fact,” he said.
Buchan later apologised for his comment in a Facebook post.
“Having stated that the Jews and the Afrikaans peoples were the only two Nations that had a covenant with God is totally wrong and for that statement, I humbly ask your forgiveness,” he said.