Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema on Thursday pleaded with religious leaders to not open up their places of worship during Level 3 of the lockdown.
This after President Cyril Ramaphosa this week announced that small religious gatherings of no more than 50 people would be allowed when the country descends from Level 4 to Level 3 lockdown from 1 June.
Speaking at a media briefing on Thursday where he was giving the EFF’s response to moving to Level 3 of the lockdown, Malema urged religious leaders that they should tell their church members and worshippers that they should stay away from church because “its a trap”.
Malema said the example of how the virus infected many who were gathered at a church in Bloemfontein, Free State, was evidence of how such gatherings can rapidly spread Covid-19.
He urged worshippers to stay away from church and further urged religious leaders to “not connive with white capital to kill black people”, advising that prayers and other forms of worship could still be practised from home using various methods and platforms such as those online.
The EFF leader further urged parents of school pupils to not take their children to schools until schools comply with Covid-19 safety measures.
Malema questioned the decision to reopen schools under Level 3 lockdown, saying many schools, in particular, those that service black Africans, have inadequate infrastructure, including toilets, and that school pupils would fail to observe social distancing and other Covid-19 safety measures such as wearing a mask.
He said the decision to reopen schools shows that “we are led by fools” because even though social distancing could be observed in a classroom at school, this would be a challenge when school pupils travelled together in the mornings for school.
Meanwhile, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has said that Monday, 1 June, when Grades 7 and 12 return to school, and Tuesday should be used for screening and testing for Covid-19 and the distribution of personal protective equipment to learners and for addressing health issues and orientation and inductions, effective teaching getting underway on Wednesday.