Home South African Malema accuses scientists advising govt of misleading nation on Covid-19

Malema accuses scientists advising govt of misleading nation on Covid-19

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EFF leader criticised scientists in the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Covid-19, including its chair Professor Salim Abdool Carrim, of failing to stick to proper professional principle in their advice to government

EFF leader Julius Malema. File picture: Phando Jikelo / African News Agency (ANA)

EFF LEADER Julius Malema has slammed scientists advising President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration on the Covid-19 pandemic and effectively accused them of hypocrisy.

Malema was on Sunday addressing the virtual seventh anniversary rally of the party, which he formed in 2013 after he was expelled from the ANC while he was ANC Youth League (ANCYL) president.

Malema accused Ramaphosa of having fallen into the trap of the private sector by reopening the economy and schools, leading to the massive rise in infections in the country.

He also criticised the scientists in the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Covid-19, including its chair Professor Salim Abdool Carrim, of failing to stick to proper professional principle in their advice to the government.

“At the beginning of the first lockdown which was meant to last for 21 days, the scientists said we should retain strict lockdown regulations if there are more than 100 infections per day. Currently, SA has an average of 13 000 per day and the same scientists are advising the government to open schools and loosen strict lockdown regulations,” said Malema.

The leader of the red berets criticised and questioned the scientists’ agenda for changing their tune.

“Science must not change due to political convenience. We do not want scientists who sacrifice scientific principle on the altar of political convenience. Scientists have an obligation to, at all times, tell the truth. It is evident however that the scientists advising the government are in the pockets of politicians and possibly of the white monopoly capital establishment,” he said.

Malema took direct aim at Carrim, accusing him of being behind the reopening of schools.

“This is a health expert who abandoned his own scientific evidence for economic expediency and supported the programme of using children as the testing of waters for the impact of the deadly coronavirus,” he said.

He accused Ramaphosa of ignoring the EFF’s suggestion of the mandatory quarantining of infected people on Robben Island and of “giggling” at his warning that private hospitals would be nationalised during the pandemic if they did not play a progressive role.

Malema also lambasted the theft of Covid-19 relief funds during the pandemic.

“It is worse in the Eastern Cape where R4.8 million is used to conduct door-to-door campaigns and R10 million is spent on embarrassing scooters that serve no purpose,” he said.

Malema praised his party’s influence on SA and African political landscape since its formation.

The EFF’s role in the ultimate ousting of former president Jacob Zuma and the current process to amend the Constitution to enable the expropriation of land without compensation displayed the influence of the young party, Malema said.

Malema said the EFF’s successful campaign against the continued honouring of the last apartheid president FW de Klerk, its fight against racism, corruption and its contribution in the fight for equality and free education in higher learning were also among the credentials earned by his party since its founding.

“It was the students of the EFF who in various institutions of higher learning achieved victories that unions have failed to achieve and ensured the insourcing of workers, a critical pillar of abolishing the tender system as enshrined in the cardinal pillars of the EFF,” he said.

He further maintained that the party had influenced legislation in all spheres it was represented in, including municipalities, in the interest of the poor despite not being in government.

“In Tshwane, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Bay) we have successfully lobbied the council to insource security and cleaning staff resulting in material benefits such as increased wages, medical provisions and improved working conditions for our people,” Malema said.