Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema’s call for people to break Covid-19 regulations and threat to protest outside the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) is ‘irresponsible’, say concerned parties.
During a Youth Day rally this week ,the outspoken politician berated the government for its slow roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines, calling for Sahpra to approve Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine. Malema further called on people to break Covid-19 regulations until President Cryil Ramaphosa heeds this call.
The Council for the Advancement of the Constitution (CASAC) and healthcare worker union Denosa has called out Malema’s behaviour. Casac Executive Secretary Lawson Naidoo points out this is an especially dangerous time to call for people to risk spreading or becoming infected with Covid-19. It is especially alarming hes says, that this message comes from a member of Parliament with notable public influence.
‘There is no regulation that is going to stop us. From today we don’t listen to what Ramaphosa says about corona, we don’t comply with nonsense he says about corona until he gives us vaccines. And vaccinates our people because he has got no intentions of vaccinating our people,” Malema shouted to a roaring crowd of supporters outside Hoërskool Uitsig in Centurion in Tshwane on Wednesday.
Supporters and his colleagues on stage began a thunderous standing ovation when he suggested that people risk dying fighting for the Sputnik V vaccine.”The Russians offered (the) vaccine before- he refused it.We want our country back. Let’s go an reclaim our country back from Ramaphosa. If it means death, so be it.If it means prison, we will wear it with honour, because prison for revolutionaries is an honour. Only cowards would be scared of prison.”
Videos of the event have gone viral on Tik-Tok and Twitter with supporters retweeting in agreement.
I fully agree with Malema pic.twitter.com/4uyF9Avy0p
— advovolicious ???????? (@advovolicious) June 17, 2021
“Its highly irresponsible firstly for a member of Parliament, who is responsible for making legislation to call on people to break the law. Secondly, to do so and to ask people to break the law in a manner that has potential to spread the virus is highly irresponsible when you are putting lives at risk by encouraging such behaviour.”
Also Read: In quotes: Malema spares no one in his Youth Day address
Denosa Secretary General Cassim Lekhoete says while he agrees that Ramaphosa should be looking more seriously into getting the Sputnik V vaccine to South Africa given the current vaccine shortage, he did not want Denosa associated with Malema’s ‘dangerous’ messaging. Malema should look at alternatives for canvasing for the Russian vaccine other than organising a super-spreader event and encouraging people to break the law.
” It could be a good mission but the wrong method, because by virtue of that call from the CIC, it means therefore people go in their numbers and that already breaks the protocol of the regulations. That will be a super-spreader on its own. We would like to avoid a situation where our people get exposed because in a protest people get carried away.”