Law firm tells Ramaphosa to apologise for not thanking India for Covid-19 vaccine

A law firm has written a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa demanding that he publicly addresses the country and apologizes for not thanking the Indian government, the Serum Institute of India (SII), and the Indian people for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine that arrived in the country on Monday.

This followed a backlash on social media by some South Africans of Indian origin, who had complained about the president’s address in which he thanked MTN for its donation of $25 million to procure seven million vaccines that will be rolled out to countries on the African continent.

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Ramaphosa also recognized Cuba for its “selfless and unwavering assistance” to South Africa. The president also said Cabinet had approved a proposal to nominate the Cuban Medical Brigade for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, which has been criticized by unions and political parties.

In its letter to the Presidency, dated 2 February 2021, Kirshen Naidoo & Company Incorporated said it was acting on behalf of various citizens and organizations in South Africa who had instructed it to urge Ramaphosa to apologize for snubbing the Indian government. The law firm has offices in Durban, Johannesburg, and Bloemfontein.

Its director, Kirshen Naidoo, said the Indian government and the SII “generously allocated” the 1.5 million vaccine doses to South Africa that would be given to healthcare workers in the first phase of the vaccination programme.

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