EFF urges SAHPRA not to bow to political pressure as it demands more vaccines

A large crowd of EFF supporters gathered in Pretoria to protest against governments procurement of vaccines despite the adjusted level 3 lockdown regulations, which prohibit gatherings of more than a hundred people in an open area.

Members of EFF march to the offices of the SAHPRA on Friday, 25 June 2021. Picture: Boikhutso Ntsoko/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) claims that the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) is disallowing the usage of the Sputnik V and Sinovac vaccines because it is micro-managed and controlled by western countries.

Now in the grip of a third wave of COVID-19 infections, South Africa is inoculating its population with Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer vaccines, but the rollout has been slow partly.

READ: Malema gives SAHPRA 7 days to approve use of Sinovac & Sputnik V vaccines in SA

A large crowd of EFF supporters gathered in Pretoria to protest against governments procurement of vaccines despite the adjusted level 3 lockdown regulations, which prohibit gatherings of more than a hundred people in an open area.

Police are set to open a criminal case against the convener of the EFF protest in Pretoria for allegedly flouting the Disaster Management Act. The Red Berets gathered, ironically, under the banner to save lives.

WATCH: EFF vows to resist tougher COVID-19 rules as they demand more vaccines

While social distancing has been completely disregarded outside the headquarters of the health regulatory authority, some supporters have volunteered to bring masks and were carrying around sanitisers for the few who were concerned about the potential risk of the demonstration.

EFF leader Julius Malema has accused SAPHRA of allegedly bowing to political pressure and influence.

"There are problems one after another with J&J, but yet they say use it. What is it that Sinovac and Sputnik have that is worse than J&J?” Malema asked.

The party has threatened to hold a sit-in at the house of SAHPRA’s chairperson Helen Reese, if the demands are not met.

EFF representatives handed over a memorandum of demands to SAHPRA CEO Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela.

SAHPRA has been reviewing applications linked to the Sinovac and Sputnik V vaccines.

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