Stuck between irrelevance and a hard place, Malema screams conspiracy, calls for violence… again
The EFF leader is politicising the most important issue of our time: The Covid-19 vaccination drive. There is zero evidence he is doing this for the good of South Africa’s people and that he cares in any way for anyone who is not his supporter or follower. He has provided no evidence for any of his claims.
The Economic Freedom Fighters says it is planning a protest march later this week to demand that the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) allow the use of the Sputnik-V and Sinopharm vaccines. It appears to mark the first attempt in South Africa to politicise the use of vaccines, at a time when millions of people are desperate for an injection to protect themselves and their families from the virus.
But EFF leader Julius Malema has also made many more baseless claims and in some cases his own positions are contradictory. He appears to be growing more desperate before a local election which could have devastating results for him and trying to gain traction, any traction.
On Wednesday Malema held a mass rally outside Uitsig High School in Centurion in what appeared to be a clear contravention of the Covid-19 regulations announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa the night before. While observers can argue about the number of people there, it is certain that the number was above the limit of 100 people allowed at an outdoor gathering.
During his speech, Malema said that people should no longer obey lockdown regulations. He was quoted by News 24 as saying, “From today, we don’t listen to what Ramaphosa says about the coronavirus. We don’t comply with nonsense he says about the coronavirus until he gives us vaccines and vaccinates our people because he has no intention of vaccinating our people.”
He went on to say, “The Russians have offered vaccines but they refused it. We want our country back. Let us go and reclaim our country from Ramaphosa. If it means death, so be it. If it means prison, we will wait with honour because prison for revolutionaries is an honour. Only cowards will be scared of prison.”
Malema appears to be telling people they must put themselves at risk of the virus as a political action. But he then claims that this is to get the one thing that would protect them, vaccines.
It is not easy to understand the logic of this statement.
It was not the only fact-free or illogical statement on Wednesday.
While demanding that people break the lockdown regulations designed to save them from Covid-19, he demanded that schools be closed to protect children from the virus.
As quoted by EWN, he said, “Can you imagine children dying in their numbers” from the virus, and insisted that education institutions be shut.
This contradicts all the scientific evidence on children and Covid-19. While there are increasing numbers of children who have contracted the virus, the medical evidence shows that they do not develop severe symptoms or die from it.