From back to school to reopening churches — five critical takeouts from Julius Malema's Covid-19 address

29 May 2020 - 06:57
By Cebelihle Bhengu
EFF leader Julius Malema highlighted inequality in access to quality health care in SA, in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Image: ALON SKUY/THE TIMES EFF leader Julius Malema highlighted inequality in access to quality health care in SA, in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

EFF leader Julius Malema on Thursday delivered a virtual address from the party's headquarters in Johannesburg on the government's response to Covid-19 and the national lockdown.

Here are five takeouts from his address:

Inequality will kill black people

Malema warned that black people will die as a result of racial and economic inequality. He lamented that the majority does not have a fair fighting chance against Covid-19 as it relies on an “overburdened” and “under-resourced” government health system.

Whites, on the contrary, have access to quality health care.

“Black people in communities, who could have lived another 10 years, will die, not because they have bad immune systems, but because they didn't have health care. The white community and some insignificant minority black elite will rely on private health care, which is fully functional and ready to give them a fighting chance.”

Schools are not ready to reopen 

Pupils in grades 7 and 12 are expected to be the first to return to schools on June 1, as part of the government's staggered approach to getting back to school. Basic education minister Angie Motshekga said the government would provide schools with necessary PPE to ensure the safety of pupils, teachers and general staff.

Malema said schools are not ready to cope with Covid-19.

“Guarantee clean water supply for all schools and guarantee sanitation. Emphatically clean toilets for all schools, including those that didn't have toilets before.”

Close churches, open the economy

Churches are a death trap waiting to happen and they should remain closed, said Malema. He made reference to the Bloemfontein church where its members contracted Covid-19 in March.

Under level 3 of lockdown, churches will be permitted to reopen under stringent safety precautions and are to host no more than 50 people, depending on space available.

“You're going to die, it's a set-up, don't go to church. Look at what the church did in Bloemfontein, we have evidence of what the church can do. Don't go to church, our people can still pray at home, our leaders can reach out to our people through different methods.”


Malema warned that companies which have received Covid-19 relief funding but have not paid their employees, will be the target of the EFF.

“I have never seen South Africans being cowards. Close factories and companies that received UIF and did not pay money to its workers. Any such companies must be a target of the EFF. Let us expose them for fraud, they must be arrested.”

Justice for Collins Khosa 

The EFF is helping the family of Alexandra township man, Collins Khosa, who allegedly died as a result of an altercation with members of the SANDF, get justice. Khosa died on April 10.

The inquiry investigating the matter found that metro police and soldiers could not be held liable for his death, stating that its cause “was gender inequality and provocation, specifically lack [of] respect towards female soldiers by two men”, TimesLIVE reported.

“We will continue on this journey, including challenging this blatant cover-up of the report of the board of inquiry released [on Wednesday]. That report is not worth the paper it's written on. It is replete with nonsensical findings, contradictions and evasions.”