WATCH: EFF threatens to defy lockdown regulations
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EFF leader Julius Malema has vowed not to obey any of the lockdown regulations announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa, and he dared him to arrest him and his party members.
While Gauteng has reported an increasing number of infections – which are much higher compared to during the first and second waves – Malema was adamant that he and his party would not honour or respect the lockdown regulations.
He also said his party’s regional conferences in the country this weekend will go ahead despite regulations and restrictions of public gathering set down by Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa returned the country to level 3 on June 15 and announced strict measures on public gatherings, but Malema’s party’s march was attended by more than 2 000 people who did not practise social distancing despite some of them wearing masks.
Malema’s determination to defy the regulations came as the national government has already deployed 280 soldiers in Gauteng alone to enforce regulations. EFF members descended on Pretoria transported in various buses, some from Limpopo to march to Sahpra offices to hand over a memorandum.
The ATM was the only party that came to support the EFF march.
Malema said: “This event is not a super-spreader. We just came here to demand vaccines now. We want the South African Health Products Regulations Authority to approve vaccines from Russia and China now. The super-spreaders are your retail shops and malls, including schools.”
Malema demanded that the regulatory body approves the use of Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine and Chinese-made Sinovac for the mass vaccination of the people.
In their memorandum, the EFF said: "It is now evident the South African government is dismally failing to provide vaccines to all South Africans.
"We come here carrying the burden of millions who have been totally excluded, subjected, oppressed and exploited South Africans in the Save Lives march under the leadership of the EFF," said EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu.
The party has for a while advocated for the government to procure these two vaccines. Sahpra had indicated in February that it was reviewing applications linked to the Sinovac and Sputnik vaccines.
Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela signed the memorandum in acknowledgement and told the crowd that she would take it back to the board for consideration.
This week, Sahpra said it had also received applications for Coronavac and the Sputnik V vaccines.
"The evaluation of the Coronovac application is at a very advanced stage," the institution said.
"The Sputnik V application is a rolling review. Thus, as data becomes available to the applicant, it is submitted to Sahpra."
The institution this week also clarified that it had received documentation from the Sinopharm vaccine developed by the China National Pharmaceutical group. It will begin reviewing the data.