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Re-opening economy is reckless and black people will die, says Julius Malema

EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 28, 2020


Johannesburg - EFF leader Julius Malema has criticised the government's decision to move the country to Level 3 of the national lockdown claiming many black people will die.

Malema said President Cyril Ramaphosa's decision to re-open up the economy on a phased approach was proof that he had turned his back on his Constitutional oath.

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The president announced on Sunday that the country would move to Level 3 from June 1. This will see some industries returning to operation.

Malema said the re-opening of the economy makes no sense. He also criticised the government's lack of financial support to citizens especially those who were indebted.

He called for the government to force banks and housing loan structures to call off demands for debt repayments for a year. He said many workers had been forced to return to work and had depleted their savings because of the strain caused by the pandemic.

"The government has still not come with a clear plan and strategy and plan on the payment of the R350 per person because millions of unemployed youths who are not in education and training have no bank accounts, and these are the poorest of the poor.

"We call for a moratorium of 12 months on the house and car repossessions by private banks because many people are going to lose their jobs and should not be condemned to absolute poverty and homelessness because of a pandemic that they did not create," Malema said during a virtual press briefing on Thursday.

"Our people are in a state of panic. We have to guarantee our people that we will continue to provide for them."

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He said the biggest causalities from the coronavirus would be black people as they were more likely to receive poor healthcare. He claimed only white people and a few black people would benefit from the re-opening of the economy and access to private health care.

He said the idea that people would die because of hunger if the economy was not opened was not based on scientific evidence.

Malema also called the government to take-over private health care so every citizen in need can get access to healthcare. He said it was not time for profits.

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Malema also called for Parliament to resume from Pretoria as more members of Parliament would be able to access the venue as many were based in Gauteng.

He said resuming Parliament was crucial to hold the executive to account. He said the virtual meetings currently being held by Parliament were not working in providing the necessary oversite.


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