EFF writes to Ramaphosa calling for resumption of political gatherings

It said the current level 3 lockdown restrictions prohibit political parties from engaging in programmes that hold government accountable and doesn’t allow for campaigning to take place ahead of local government elections set for November.

President Cyril Ramaphosa in Parliament for Finance Minister Tito Mboweni's Budget speech on 24 February 2021. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has written a legal letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa demanding the resumption of public political programmes in the country.

It said the current level 3 lockdown restrictions prohibited political parties from engaging in programmes that hold government accountable and didn't allow for campaigning to take place ahead of local government elections set for November.

In December, Ramaphosa shut the country’s beaches, borders and banned the sale of alcohol, which have all since been permitted.

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Just last week, the African National Congress (ANC)’s secretary general Ace Magashule drove around talking from the top of a sunroof greeting supporters after an appearance in his court case, he said addressing the crowd would be in contravention of COVID-19 regulations.

The prohibition of public gatherings have had an adverse impact on all parties across the South African political landscape.

The ban of political gatherings has been described by the EFF as an infringement on freedoms provided for by the country’s Constitution, one which allows everyone the right to peacefully assemble, demonstrate or make public presentations and the rights of citizens to participate and campaign for political parties.

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It’s calling on the president to amend the regulations to allow gatherings, in which COVID-19 protocols will be observed.

EFF national spokesperson Vuyani Pambo said continuing to prohibit political gatherings was arbitrary and irrational.

“So what we are finding is that we are essentially criminalised as political parties. You can have other public gatherings but political gatherings are banned.”

The EFF has given the president until Friday to consider its demand.

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