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IN QUOTES | ‘People cannot social distance in picket lines’: Julius Malema

EFF leader Julius Malema
EFF leader Julius Malema

EFF leader Julius Malema says wearing masks and observing social distancing is not possible during protests.

While addressing the media on Monday from the EFF headquarters in Braamfontein, he was asked about the flouting of regulations which apply to social gatherings amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The EFF leadership and scores of its supporters protested in Senekal in the Free State nearly two weeks ago, where two men implicated in the murder of farm manager Brendin Horner appeared for a bail hearing.

Here are seven telling quotes from Malema's address:

Nightclubs during lockdown 

“The nightclubs are not opened. There is no regulation that opens nightclubs, so if any opens it is illegal and must be shut down and the minister must not think twice about it. We say so because there will never be some form of social distancing or taking some safety measures in a nightclub type of a set-up.”

Masks and lack of social distancing in Senekal

“Picket lines are a different terrain and therefore there is no formula for picket lines. People cannot be in a picket line in a form of social distancing and it is unfortunate that we exist in terrain that from time to time, we have to be in the picket lines. We don't do so out of our own creation, it is the establishment that forces us to do so.”

On court case for alleged assault of police officer

“There is no EFF that is bringing Johannesburg to a standstill. It is the state because you cannot charge the leadership for pushing a police officer. Police officers should, from time to time, develop a thick skin but we are charged because we pushed a white police officer and whites are untouchable in SA. [The officer] owes us an apology because you can't stop me from attending my mother's funeral.”

Living conditions of farmworkers

“All living conditions of the farmworkers, including their salaries and where they stay must be looked into. People who live in worse conditions are found in the farms. They have no electricity yet the boss has electricity, no toilets and no schools. We need to investigate the conditions of the farmworkers and come up with clear, binding recommendations.”

On Mbuyiseni Ndlozi's harassment remarks

“Mbuyiseni apologised because he realised that he was wrong. Our national chair spoke to him and many other people spoke to him and when he made reflections, he took the decision that he is going to apologise.”

Senekal protesters were not armed

“If an apartheid general takes out a gun and shoots at the knobkerrie between where you hold it and the head and it falls off, it is no longer a knobkerrie, it is just a stick. People hold that against guns and you profile them as being armed? Because there was a desperation to project Africans as unreasonable people who are provoking white people.”

Zondo commission investigations

“Zondo did not have to look for my statements from the banks, he should have called me. I'm readily available. These banks have electronic apps. I would have downloaded the statements and sent it via WhatsApp. He will not find anything.”


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