EFF leader Julius Malema has reiterated the party’s controversial call for the opening up of borders to foreign nationals from neighbouring countries. Speaking during the party’s briefing on Thursday, Malema slammed the government for the massive human and traffic congestion at the country’s borders, which escalated as immigrants from Zimbabwe, Mozambique and other countries were being processed, screened or tested for Covid-19.
The party has been calling on the government to allow the immigrants to enter the country, but South Africa has since closed the borders until next month as part of new regulations aimed at combating escalating infections. In what could be read as a call for the immigrants to jump the border illegally, Malema called on foreign nationals to find “creative” means of entering the country.
“If the gates are not going to be open for SADC (Southern African Development Community), fellow SADC people, please, find a creative way. This is your home. Your families are here. There is no way anyone is going to close you out here,” Malema said.
He said the closure of borders while airports were allowed to welcome international visitors was also misguided. Malema said the closure of the Lesotho border was irrational as there was no fence between it and South Africa.
“Whether you close the border or not, the Lesotho people are going to come into South Africa and they are going to come through an unregulated process without being tested and without being processed because fools have closed the gate where there is no fence,” he said.
Malema accused the government of behaving in a manner “that pleases whiteness and Europeans”.
“The disease did not come through Zimbabwe or Lesotho. It came from Italy. It is white people who brought the disease here and we said to the government, ‘quarantine these people and isolate them’. Because they were white, they did not isolate them,” Malema said.
Meanwhile, it appears that the EFF’s sentiments have sparked a debate on social media, with some users on Twitter through the #VoetsekEFF posting that Malema and his party were not sympathetic to the plight faced by South Africans, adding that Malema was being opportunistic by calling for the borders to open.