Do not go to church, you will die, warns Julius Malema
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Johannesburg - "Do not go to church, you are going to die, it's a trap."
EFF leader Julius Malema cautioned religious leaders on Thursday not to encourage congregants to attend religious services to protect their lives and avoid contracting the coronavirus.
The EFF has joined several people who have criticised the government's decision to reopen religious institutions under level 3. Some religious institutions have welcomed the decision, while some warned that churches were breeding ground for the virus to spread.
The decision was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday saying the decision followed discussions with religious leaders. He said strict conditions would be placed on religious leaders to ensure hygiene measures are followed, a limit of 50 people and the wearing of masks.
Malema said the decision made no sense especially since other places such as restaurants were still barred from opening while places of worship, that did not contribute to the economy, were allowed to re-open.
"I plead with religious leaders not to open their places. You are the ones who should be saying your members should not come to church. Do not go to church, you are going to die. It's a trap. Our people can still pray at home," Malema said during a virtual briefing on Thursday.
"You close restaurants and you open churches... what is the contribution of the churches into the economy? Restaurants already practised social distancing even before social distancing.
Hygiene is number one at restaurants. There are inspectors hired by municipalities that inspect the compliance of restaurants," Malema said.
The EFF leader also said the decision to reopen schools was premature as there was no scientific basis justifying the re-opening of schools. He said many schools lack basic sanitation and other resources and it was not a guarantee that children would be protected.
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