NEWS & ANALYSIS

Covid-19: Ramaphosa failed us - EFF

Fights say President is now blaming South Africans for spread of disease

EFF CALLS FOR A PROACTIVE APPROACH TO CURB THE SPREAD AND IMPACT OF COVID-19

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

The Economic Freedom Fighters has watched with disdain the lack of decisiveness, consistency and leadership since the beginning of the spread of the Coronavirus in South Africa. The response to COVID-19 by South Africa has been characterised by refusal of guidance, lack of foresight and a deliberate prioritisation of profits over human life. Leading this incompetence has been one Cyril Ramaphosa, who is hell-bent on being given an exhibition of loss of life and uncontrollable infections before making decisions that will protect the lives of people.

South Africa sits today on 298 292 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases and 4 346 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths not solely because of the behaviour of the virus, but as a result of a reckless and fiat-footed government advised by a compromised health expert by the name of Salim Abdool Karim.

On the 5 March 2020, the first COVID-19 case was recorded in South Africa, in a thirty ­eight-year-old man who was part of a group of ten people who had returned from Italy into South Africa. It was at that point where the EFF called for the monitoring and closure of all international points of entry to protect the vulnerable and poor from the virus. Cyril Ramaphosa did not heed this call and delayed.

It was at this point in time, that we called for the mandatory quarantining of infected individuals instead of the careless directive of self-quarantining, to ensure that the spread of the virus is contained by the State and not left to chance in the hands of individuals. Cyril Ramaphosa ignored this advice.

In a joint press conference by leaders of Political Parties represented in Parliament, the Commander in Chief Julius Malema called for a co-operative effort to combat the spread of COVID-19, for public representatives to refrain from being corrupt in a time of a humanitarian crisis, for retailers who sell Personal Protective Equipment's (PPE's) not to increase the prices of basic equipment and for the private-healthcare sector to play its part in treating South Africans. Today R4.8 million is spent in 0.R. Tambo on a mere door-to-door program, Ft10 million is spent on pathetic scooters which serve no purpose, a. there are no consequences. The private health care sector is not playing a significant part in the health efforts against COVID-19, this is while our people fight for oxygen in public hospitals and health-care workers die because of lack of PPE's.

As the national lockdown began, the EFF provided coherent and concrete economic solutions to alleviate the irnpact of the lockdown on poor South Africans, through the implementation of payment holidays, business relief measures, a radical cutting of the repo rate and provision of an unemployment grant. Ramaphosa delayed in implementing this, and brazenly advertised loan-schemes of the Ruperts as relief measures for small businesses.

The EFF called for the ban of alcohol sales, diagnosing from the onset that the continued sale of alcohol will overburden health-care infrastructure and divert attention from efforts to help COVID-19 patients. Ramaphosa delayed in implementing this guidance. After implementing an alcohol ban, Ramaphosa backtracked on the ban, which resulted in a spike of patients in trauma units across South Africa and an increase of COVID-19 infections.

The resumption of the sale of alcohol was accompanied by homicidal decisions to ease lockdown regulations, by reopening mines, businesses, restaurants, casinos and schools. COVID-19 cases have since increased sharply, and deaths have followed. The most painful has been the reopening of schools, which came at the advice of Dr. Death, Professor Salim Abdool Karim. This is a health expert who abandoned his own scientific advice for economic expediency and supported the program of using children as a "testing of the waters" for the impact of the deadly Coronavirus.

Ramaphosa has ignored consistently calls for science and epidemiological evidence to be at the centre of the easing of lockdown regulations and reopening of social and economic activity. As the World Health Organisation (WHO) and South African Democratic Teachers Union echo our warning not to reopen schools, Ramaphosa will once again in a delayed fashion follow our advice, in the same way he has done with the alcohol ban. His reluctance to be guided reveals an arrogant leader whose allegiance is not to human life but profit.

Ramaphosa today opportunistically attempts to blame South Africans for the spread of the Corona Virus and forgets how he has failed to provide consistent leadership, which is guided and has foresight. This is a sign that he has completely abdicated his responsibilities as a leader of society and assumed the position of an absent father, who has chosen his family of the Mennels, Ruperts and Oppenheimers over the lives of the destitute and the poor.

The EFF calls for the immediate closure of all schools and the implementation of remote learning. We call for an immediate return to level-5 of the national lockdown and relevant economic relief measures to be put in place to avoid the starvation of our people.

Ramaphosa must desist from wanting to see lives lost before he makes logical decisions that protect human life. He must set up a team of health professionals that is not compromised and is loyal to their Hippocratic Oath, not sadistic experiments with children.

Statement issued by the EFF, 15 July 2020