Push municipal elections to 2024, EFF says
Johannesburg - The EFF says it will reject any move aimed at holding local government elections which are planned for later this year, as the party says campaign time had been lost by political parties.
Speaking during the party’s briefing, yesterday, EFF leader Julius Malema said the party would push for the municipal elections to be held in 2024 and be aligned with general elections.
“We should have started the campaign preparation from July 2020 but even internally we could not meet because of regulations and lockdown. That preparation has not taken place in all political parties,” Malema said.
Malema said this year it would also be impossible to embark on public election campaigns while the pandemic was still raging.
“The vaccination process will not have started effectively even in March, so we are going to lose the first quarter of a political year. For elections to be declared free and fair, among other things they include having sufficient time to prepare and campaign openly,” he said.
He said campaigns would not be possible this year if people were still not vaccinated as this would lead to infections during door-to-door drives and other programmes, due to human contact.
“This virus cannot be spread by politicians because they seek power. Only when we are now confident that it is safe to go into people’s houses, then we can start campaigning,” Malema said.
Malema slammed the scepticism and sometimes “open de-campaigning of vaccines” aimed at building immunity against the Covid-19 pandemic, which had to date infected almost 1.5 million South Africans and killed over 35 000.
He took a swipe at Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, effectively accusing him of being a conspiracy theorist over his controversial views on vaccines.
Last month, Justice Mogoeng drew controversy after he, during his public address at Tembisa Hospital, prayed against “any vaccine that is of the devil and that is meant to infuse 666 in the lives of people and meant to corrupt their DNA”, and called on it to be destroyed by fire.
“We have given room to these conspiracy theories. Perhaps if we were producing our own vaccine we would not have some unfounded stories like 666 vaccines. Where have you ever had such madness? There is no such a vaccine.
“Today, people who claim to be Christians, people who claim to be worshipping God and denounce African medicine and who survive through Western medicine, want to come and tell us there is 666 vaccine,” Malema said.
Justice Mogoeng is a devout Christian and a lay preacher, whose religious views have at times seen him being criticised as the head of the judiciary over the years.
Malema said claims that the Covid-19 vaccines were a ploy to depopulate Africans were baseless and called for more reliance on science.
“We are not going to win this war of Coronavirus if we are going to denounce science. Now it is science that must be applied. We need the vaccine as in yesterday. I will be the first one to take it on the queue. Anyone who refuses a vaccine, that person wants to spread coronavirus and kill our people,” he said.
Malema also reiterated the party’s controversial call for the opening up of borders to foreign nationals from neighbouring countries.
In what could be read as a call for the immigrants to jump the border illegally, Malema called on foreign nationals to “find a creative” way to enter the country if borders were not opened for them.