Ndlozi slams ‘SA’s chief scientist’ Abdool Karim for reopening schools, economy


Opposition parties says as per the advice of the WHO, countries should remain under hard lockdown until the peak of the pandemic has passed.

While government continues with its plans of resuming the academic calendar during lockdown level 3, many South Africans voices, including political parties, have been heard calling for schools to be closed.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), who also has been calling for on President Cyril Ramaphosa to move back the country to Level 5, acussed the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) chairperson, professor Salim Abdool Karim of being the mastermind behind the reopening of these various sectors.

EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi went onto social media to slam Karim of advising government to reopen businesses and schools despite the World Health Organisation (WHO) suggesting that countries can move to other lockdown levels when a decrease is seen in the numbers of Covid-19 cases.

ALSO READ: Sadtu, education dept in standoff over schools

“This is SA’s chief scientist behind the reckless reopening of all social and economic activities. He’s on public record advising that schools should reopen despite WHO advice to the contrary!” he said on Twitter.

Ndlozi continued to claim that Abdool Karim was “leading a group scientists advising the government who must be exposed”.

The EFF leader further called on government to shut down South Africa amid the peak cases of Covid-19 in the country.

Meanwhile, professor of vaccinology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Shabir Madhi said government’s new regulations allowing for 100% seating in taxis for short-distance trips cannot be backed up by science and will do nothing to stop the spread of Covid-19.

He said government’s taxi regulations were confusing especially in light of the fact that many people take more than one taxi to work.

Madhi is also a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) advising government on Covid-19. He said his views also do not reflect official MAC recommendations, which are not public.

Two other MAC members had also criticised government’s approach to the Covid-19 pandemic.

They suggested that government and members of the scientific community are still miles apart in terms of the best approach to take, from a purely scientific point of view, to slow the rate of transmission of Covid-19.

READ MORE: EFF opposes education dept’s ‘murderous’ plan to re-open schools

The department of basic education hit back at the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu), who resolved schools should close amid a peak in Covid-19 cases, and said such a decision will only be made by the Cabinet.

According to a statement by the department, the Council of Education Ministers (CEM) said groups and individuals who were not empowered by law do not have the authority to close schools.

“The CEM has resolved to take legal action against all individuals and groups that continue to disrupt schooling,” the statement read.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.

today in print

today in print