President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Siyabulela Duda
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Siyabulela Duda

President Cyril Ramaphosa has postponed his meeting with AU commissioners, to focus on the Covid-19 crisis in SA.

Ramaphosa, who is the chair of the AU, requested the postponement of the meeting, which was to take place on Thursday, so that he could give priority to SA's national response to the global pandemic, the presidency said.

This follows his declaration of a national state of disaster, which came with sweeping measures such as travel bans, the shutting of borders, a ban on gatherings of more than 100 people and the closing of schools.

Ramaphosa was leading SA's national command council, which meets three times a week to co-ordinate the country's response to Covid-19.

SA’s first case of infection was confirmed on March 5, and in the space of less than a fortnight the number of cases has soared to 62. All of these cases have been among people who travelled outside SA, but two further cases, suspected infections due to local transmission, are under investigation, prompting Ramaphosa to impose the most stringent measures yet seen on the African continent.

The AU meeting was scheduled to take place in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia on Thursday.

The presidency said the meeting was due to discuss the programme of work of the AU for the current year and would have been Ramaphosa's first meeting with commissioners since assuming the chair in February.

The meeting has been postponed to a date to be mutually agreed upon in April.

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