The EFF has called for the local government elections and the reopening of schools to be postponed due to the rising number of Covid-19 infections and related deaths.
In a virtual address, EFF leader Julius Malema said forging ahead with the two major events would be gambling with the lives of South Africans.
Malema said SA did not have the capacity to run elections in any form other than physical voting through the ballot paper.
He also said Covid-19 had made it impossible for political parties to campaign and engage their constituencies. Pressing ahead with elections this year would then put democracy at risk, the EFF leader said.
“To run elections in such a climate will therefore constitute an undermining of democracy, as well as putting the lives of society at risk,” Malema said.
“We call for all elections and local government elections to be postponed up to 2024, as an election can be regarded as a super-spreader event.”
He said the EFF had drawn up a document that recommends merging of the local and national government elections in 2024.
The Electoral Commission has earmarked August as the date for the local government elections.
“The secretary-general of the EFF will begin a process of engaging all political parties on this position and present to them the already developed concept document on consolidation of elections as the future of the South African electoral system,” Malema said.
The EFF also wants the government to postpone the reopening of schools on January 27.
TimesLIVE on Thursday reported that the national coronavirus command council had recommended that the reopening of schools be postponed by two weeks to February 15.
Malema did not say exactly when the reopening should be postponed to, but said the lives of children should not be gambled with.
“We further call for the postponement of the reopening of all schools in light of the spike in new Covid-19 infections and an uncontrollable rate of Covid-19 related deaths. The new Covid-19 variant has been identified as being highly infectious and more present in the youth,” he said.
“As the EFF we oppose the gambling of the lives of children to a virus that all of humanity is yet to properly understand. It will be extremely painful when families start losing their children because as leaders we failed to respect the situation we find ourselves in and preserve the future of our nation.”
Malema also said the EFF had resolved to heed the government’s call to postpone all political gatherings by indefinitely postponing all its events.
“The EFF held its first meeting of the new year on January 13, with the highest decision-making structure, the Central Command Team, and the War Council reaching a decision to suspend all political activities of the EFF pending further guidance by government on the Covid-19 situation.”
The party also decided to close all its provincial and regional offices to curb the possible spread of the virus.
“We have therefore decided to postpone indefinitely the EFF’s Plenum, which is the meeting of the elected leaders of the EFF and public representatives to forge plans and political activity for the upcoming year.”
By Kgothatso Madisa – TimesLIVE