Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has called on the sale of alcohol, schools and elections to remain closed to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Addressing a media briefing on Thursday, Malema announced that the EFF had suspended all activities until further notice, in line with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ban on political activities.
Malema reiterated the party’s call for the consolidation of the electoral system in the country into one set of elections where local and national elections are conducted at once.
“Free and fair elections must be based on the ability to engage all voters. To run an election during this pandemic will constitute an undermining of democracy as well as putting the lives of society at risk. We call for the elections to be postponed until 2024 as they can be regarded as super-spreader events,” said Malema.
He further called for the postponement of the reopening of schools as the country continues to battle the new Covid-19 variant, which has been reported to spread faster.
“It will be painful if families start losing their children because government ignored the current situation. We don’t want to tell government ‘we told you so’ when children start dying.
“We hope the government will hear our prayers and protect our children. We are very fortunate that children are not dying. Imagine if we were losing children. Let our children be safe at home until we defeat this virus.
“All of civil society, trade unions, school principals and parents must unite and call for the postponement of the resuming of schooling activities, until such a point where it is safe to send children to classrooms,” said Malema.
Alcohol must remain closed, added the EFF leader, but called on government to bailout restaurants and artists.
“Government must ensure that they continue to provide relief to small businesses through the Unemployment Insurance Fund and Ters [Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme] relief , and any businesses owners who claim from government yet do not pay employees must face harsh consequences,” he said.
He further urged South Africans to continue adhering to the lockdown regulations to help hospitals and healthcare workers cope with the surge that has seen the deceased being “treated like livestock” in funeral homes.
“No place must be overpopulated. Let us not use funerals to blackmail each other. Let us put our egos aside. If they say there are already 50 people inside, don’t fight. It is not about you.”