EFF leader Julius Malema has decried racist incidents that have sparked controversy at various schools in the country.
The EFF took its Youth Day commemoration event to Hoërskool Uitsig in Centurion in Tshwane yesterday. The school outraged the party after a student was allegedly manhandled for entering the school wearing an EFF hat.
Malema said the event being held outside the school was to send a message that the party would not tolerate racism in schools.
He also referenced incidents that recently took place in Mpumalanga where black and white parents had a scuffle outside a school in Witbank following an alleged racism incident.
Another incident took place in the Western Cape where a white teacher allegedly told students that black children had no role models and their parents were locked up in prison.
Malema said these incidents had no place in the country.
“We are coming very peacefully and if you repeat that, you have yourself to blame. If this young man did not have the right to be in the school then you tell him to leave, you do not manhandle him.
“It cannot be correct where you host a matric dance and you exclude black children that black kids are told they have no role models because their parents are in prison," Malema said.
The EFF leader also decried Youth Day as being "celebrated" instead of "commemorated". He said the day should be remembered as a day of struggle. He also decried youth unemployment and the abuse of alcohol and drugs.
The EFF hosted its rally outside the school with a few hundred people in attendance. This was despite President Cyril Rampahosa on Tuesday announcing restrictions on gatherings to 100 outdoors and 50 people indoors.
Malema said Ramaphosa had handled the pandemic poorly. The EFF has been calling for schools to be closed until Covid-19 cases were under control. Malema reiterated this, saying that if anyone dies from the virus now, it should be blamed on Ramaphosa.
“Every coronavirus death must be blamed on Cyril Ramaphosa. All those deaths must be put on the doorstep of Ramaphosa,” Malema said.
He repeated his party’s stance that the government should be diversifying its vaccine procurement. The EFF wants the addition of Russia’s Sputnik vaccine and the Chinese manufactured Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines.
The SA Health Products Regulator had said it was still reviewing the approval of the Sputnik vaccine. Malema believes delays in approving the vaccine were political.