Siyanda Ndlovu
Digital Journalist
1 minute read
24 Feb 2021
12:26 pm

EFF attorney demands unbanning of political gatherings

Siyanda Ndlovu

"Prohibition of political gatherings is illogical and irrational, specifically when one can gather at a public beach." reads the letter.

Photo for illustration. Picture: Neil McCartney

A prohibition on political gatherings could have detrimental results on political parties as the local government elections approach, says EFF attorney Ian Levitt.

Levitt has written to President Cyril Ramaphosa on behalf of the EFF demanding the reopening of political spaces, including physically attending political gatherings.

His statement says lockdown regulations prohibit a political party from engaging in programmes and activities to hold the government accountable for its actions.

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“Furthermore, [it] prohibit[s] the campaigning of political programmes and activities in preparation of the 2021 local government elections (which in all likelihood will take place in November 2021),” reads the statement.

“We request that the lockdown regulations be amended to provide for political gatherings to be allowed in terms of and in compliance with all Covid-19 health protocols and social distancing measures including the wearing of masks and keeping a safe distance from other attendees,” reads the letter.

“We hereby demand that the lockdown regulations be amended to allow for political gatherings which comply with all Covid 19 health protocols and social distancing measures.”

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The party said that the regulation was in contrast with, section 17 of the Constitution which states  that “Everyone has the right, peacefully and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket and to present petitions.”

It said the “prohibition of “political gatherings” was illogical and irrational, specifically when one can gather at a public beach or swimming pool but criminalised when they gather to challenge the government, to protest, or assemble peacefully.

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