Malema calls for booze ban over Easter weekend
Ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa's address this evening, EFF leader Julius Malema has advised that alcohol sales should be banned for the Easter weekend.
Malema said alcohol sales should be halted from Thursday until next week Tuesday. He was speaking during the party's press conference on Tuesday, following its plenary meeting held at the weekend.
Ramaphosa will address the nation at 7.30pm. Malema said alcohol was a big problem for the country and the only way to avoid a possible third wave of the coronavirus was to limit the sale of alcohol.
Alcohol sales were banned briefly from December until February as coronavirus cases were on the rise during the festive season.
"The president must close alcohol for the Easter weekend. That is the problem. You love alcohol but nothing comes out of it. Some people go around putting Savannas on their heads.
"We must close alcohol for Easter weekend then half of our problems are done. No selling of alcohol and transportation.
’’Close from Thursday and then you open it on Tuesday, and then half of our problems are done. No accidents and constraints of coronavirus and trauma units are going to be free and allowed to deal with a rise in the third wave," Malema said.
The EFF leader also criticised Ramaphosa and the government's vaccination programme. He said the country does not have a vaccination programme, despite assurances from the government that the first phase had begun.
Currently, thousands of healthcare workers have been vaccinated with the Jonhson & Johnson vaccine as part of an implementation study being run by the SA Medical Research Council.
The government said the other phases of the vaccination programme will be delayed, but Ramaphosa and Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize gave assurances that millions of vaccines would arrive this year from US-based pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.
Malema has criticised the government's focus on procuring European- and US-developed vaccines. He said South Africans should have a variety of choice, and that the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) was dragging its feet in approving Chinese and Russian vaccines.
"Cyril must stop with this thing of wanting European vaccines and does not want other countries to provide vaccines. Russia has applied and they are refusing China vaccines.
"He is just pushing us in Pfizer and John & Johnson; pushing us to the US and European. He should be getting vaccines from China, Cuba and Russia. He is a puppet of the imperialist forces. Let a variety be on the counter, let people choose which vaccines people want," Malema said.
He said if the government does not speed up its procurement of vaccines, then people will take to the streets.
Sahpra had indicated in February that it had received an application for Russia's Sputnik V vaccine and that it was reviewing its data.