IN QUOTES | 'Black people will die and no-one will know how' -Malema slams easing of lockdown

EFF leader Julius Malema. File photo.
EFF leader Julius Malema. File photo.
Image: ALON SKUY/THE TIMES

EFF leader Julius Malema held a media briefing on Thursday to discuss the government's response to the Covid-19 pandemic and easing of lockdown regulations. This as the nation prepares to move to level 3 of the lockdown on Monday June 1. 

Malema took aim at some aspects of the government's handling of the pandemic so far and weighed in on the return of children to schools from next week.

He also slammed the lifting of a ban on the sale of alcohol, while defending the prohibition on the sale of tobacco.

Here are eight telling quotes from his address:

Health system and lockdown 

“The lockdown was supposed to give the country space and time to fix the public health system which was already overburdened by pre-existing diseases. Over 80% of the country's population depends on hospitals provided by government and many are under-resourced, understaffed and dilapidated. Our health care is not ready to give the black majority a fighting chance over Covid-19.”

Miners at risk

“The mines are notorious for forcing workers to dig into the belly of the earth even when the science tells them it is risky. But because they are driven by profit, they have always put the lives of our people at risk.”

Easing the lockdown 

“Many black people will get sick and die and no-one will know how because their lives do not matter. They will not get the recognition of being counted in the Covid-19 fatality and infections statistics. The president decided to bow to the pressure of white monopoly capital, this is because if all our people were given payment holidays, social grants, free water and electricity, then the only people who would lose are the capitalists.”

Back to school 

“The children of black people are being sent out to risk their lives without any fighting chance. Any black child who contracts Covid-19 will go back to their overcrowded homes where they live with grandparents and all these people will face this virus alone because there is no hospital for them.”

Hands off NDZ

“We have been observing an unnecessary attack on Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. It is nonsensical and unacceptable. We all know where Nkosazana comes from with her battle against tobacco. It is a principled stance she's taken.”

Exploitation 

“We are aware that companies have claimed UIF monies but not paying workers. We are aware that many workplaces are opened without compliance to health and safety standards. The labour desk will be intervening in all these cases.”

Alcohol

“If you say buy alcohol and drink it at home, you will effectively turn our homes into clubs. There will not be peace, the levels of abuse and intolerance will increase. You have just sent a mess into communities.”

Opening churches vs restaurants

“You close restaurants because you are talking about opening the economy and yet you open churches. What is the contribution of the church in the economy? Restaurants practise social distancing even without Covid-19, yet those who practise social distancing are closed. Also in restaurants, hygiene is compulsory. You cannot run it without high levels of hygiene.”


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