EFF's Nazier Paulsen dragged for suggesting MPs be among first to get Covid-19 vaccine
EFF MP Nazier Paulsen ruffled some feathers on Thursday with his suggestion that government prioritise MPs in the administration of the Covid-19 vaccines rollout.
SA received 80,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines on Tuesday.
“Here’s an idea, MPs and all parliamentary staff get vaccinated and we resume full parliamentary activity. It’s not a huge dent in that 80,000 doses,” he tweeted.
Here’s an idea, MPs and all parliamentary staff get vaccinated and we resume full parliamentary activity. It’s not a huge dent in that 80 000 doses.— Nazier Paulsen (@NazierPaulsen) February 17, 2021
In another tweet, the EFF MP said the apartheid regime would have ensured that MPs get vaccinated “so that they can continue to maintain apartheid”.
If the racist apartheid government was still in power white people would have wanted them to be vaccinated so that they can continue to maintain apartheid— Nazier Paulsen (@NazierPaulsen) February 18, 2021
While a few followers agreed with him, many more said MPs, unlike health workers, should not be prioritised in vaccination.
With schools having reopened on Monday, others questioned why MPs can't return to parliament.
DA shadow minister Phumzile Van Damme also opposed the idea, saying MPs are not a priority when it comes to vaccinations.
“No. We aren’t special. Parliament runs just fine in hybrid virtual. Vaccinate the vulnerable first.”
Paulsen said not all MPs have this option.
“Some MPs can’t visit their constituencies virtually. I’m happy that your constituency is sorted.”
Some MPs can’t visit their constituencies virtually. I’m happy that your constituency is sorted— Nazier Paulsen (@NazierPaulsen) February 18, 2021
Here's some of the reactions to his tweets:
You guys sleep in parliament. Healthcare workers first, thank you.— Sibo Zulu (@SibsZulu) February 18, 2021
Here’s an idea, get back to Parliament anyway. Schools are open. There is no excuse for staying at home. It’s just laziness.— lindsay manthey (@lindsaymanthey) February 18, 2021
I do not support this, consistency has proven SA parly is as useless as all the other branches of government or else we would not be in all these dire straits as a country. It’s failing dismally in its mandate to hold the Executive accountable. So NO!— Mangie (@IamMangi) February 18, 2021
President Cyril Ramaphosa and health minister Zweli Mkhize were among the first to get vaccinated in SA.
They joined health workers at Khayelitsha District Hospital on Wednesday. Groote Schuur and Tygerberg Hospitals in the Western Cape also received their share of the 13,000 Covid-19 jabs sent to the province.
Ramaphosa said he was expecting a smooth and flawless rollout of the vaccines across the country. He also committed government support to health workers.
“I would like to say to all the doomsayers who have been preaching that there is going to be total mayhem and disaster, I think let’s all have hope and faith in our system, in our health workers and let’s give them an opportunity to do what they do best because they know how this vaccination process is going to unfold.
“For us in government, we will continue to give them support and help and all the assistance that we are able to give them,” he said.