The EFF leader Julius Malema has warned the government against the “early ” relaxing of coronavirus lockdown conditions only to favour the economy.
Malema said this during the party’s Freedom Day address, he cautioned the government that it was risking the lives of the majority of those South Africans who are going back to work due to the premature opening of the economy.
The president Cyril Ramaphosa last week announced that the country will move into stage four of it’s lockdown.This move will see about 1.5-million South Africans, according to the Sunday Times, resuming work on May 1.
Ramaphosa made the announcement even though the number of coronavirus positive cases continue to increase as more testing was conducted.
According to Malema, the president decision was greatly influenced by “big businesses” who were making losses during the lockdown that has been ongoing for almost five weeks now.
“We were motivated and encouraged when the minister of health brought professionals and professors to address the people on scientific reading of the current period. However we do not get the science behind the early resuming of the economy,” said Malema on Monday in a virtual address.
“The truth of the matter is that the most of the workers who will be going back to work prematurely are black people and knowing the carelessness of big businesses in South Africa, especially in the mines, our people will be at risk of getting the virus.”
Malema said the government should be blamed for murder and attempted genocide if this move lead to more people dying from getting the virus in the workplace.
“Cyril Ramaphosa and all the companies that are rushing into early resuming of work must know that the blood of the people will be on their hands if they die people as a result of premature, carelessness and senseless re-opening of the economy.
“Each and every company that resumes business during this period must be directly held responsible for the health and safety of the workers and we as the EFF will make sure that no one dies due to rushed and senseless re-opening of the economy,” Malema said.
On Thursday Ramaphosa said even though they understand and accepted that a national lockdown was the most successful way to manage the spread of the novel Covid-19, it was not manageable.
He said that people need to eat and earn a living and companies also need to trade and produce goods as well create revenue in order to keep employment.
Malema said that for every worker who dies on duty due to the covid-19 after May 1, the said company must compensate the family of the deceased with a fine of R5m