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Defy the eased lockdown - even if it collapses 'white economy': Malema

28 May 2020 - 17:04 By ZINGISA MVUMVU
EFF leader Julius Malema has called on South Africans to defy level 3 and remain on hard lockdown. File photo.
EFF leader Julius Malema has called on South Africans to defy level 3 and remain on hard lockdown. File photo.
Image: Sunday Times/Alaister Russell

South Africa would remain on Covid-19 lockdown level 5 if the EFF was in power - even if it meant collapsing the economy.

This was according to EFF leader Julius Malema, who on Thursday called on South Africans to defy the eased lockdown as it moves to level 3 on June 1.

Malema said the government’s decision to ease the lockdown was not based on scientific evidence and would lead to more people contracting and dying from the virus.

He called on religious leaders to keep houses of worship closed - despite the government allowing them to open their doors under strict conditions.

Malema also urged parents not to send their children in grades 7 and 12 back to school next week.

EFF leader Julius Malema held a virtual press conference regarding the coronavirus pandemic on May 28 2020. He urged government to reconsider what. he calls the premature opening of various sectors of the economy as well as the reopening of schools. Here are 5 key points from the press conference.

The EFF leader challenged basic education minister Angie Motshekga to travel to Cape Town to prove that it was safe to move around after the decision to reopen schools

In his view, President Cyril Ramaphosa and his government are gambling with the lives of ordinary people.

Malema said religious leaders should lead from the front in defying the relaxation of the lockdown and claim the moral high ground by keeping the doors of their places of worship shut.

“Religious leaders must come to the party and discourage their members from going to church,” he said.

“We are saying to our members, supporters and South Africans: do not take your children to school until these people have complied with health and safety standards in schools.

“We all know that there are no toilets in schools, particularly of black Africans. Even those buildings that you see referred to as toilets ... are not functional.”

He added that it was practically impossible for pupils to practise social distancing.

He said the ministers in the national command council who took the decision to reopen schools were out of touch with the reality on the ground. For example, he questioned how they expected pupils to practise social distancing and wear face masks when on their way to school, before entering the school premises.

“Our children cannot wear the mask. We all want to comply but these things are suffocating us. Instead of preaching wearing masks, we should preach staying at home. These things I have tried them with all my boys, they do not even last two minutes, so imagine when parents are not there [to monitor their children],” said Malema.

“Children do not meet at the school yard - they meet on the streets, congested taxi and congested bus on the way to school. Already they [will] have infected each other [by the time they get to school].”

He warned that this would make any attempts at social distancing and sanitising surfaces inside schools futile - and the same pupils would then return home to infect their parents and grandparents.

“We are led by fools, non-thinkers and people who are sitting on top of their brains,” he said.

Malema added that history would be on the side of EFF for opposing the easing the lockdown.

“We should do like we did during apartheid - we must refuse to comply and stay at home. We must engage in a stayaway. If this white economy collapses, let it collapse.

“If we are going to die of hunger, let us rather die with our boots on than dying protecting the white monopoly economy. It is not our economy. If death comes, let it come - but we must die proud that we defied protecting the white economy.”