Mbhazima Shilowa on criticism of Covid-19 restrictions: South Africans are not sure what they want

Former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa says South Africans are to blame for the recent surge in Covid-19 cases: 'We are the ones who are out partying.'
Former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa says South Africans are to blame for the recent surge in Covid-19 cases: 'We are the ones who are out partying.'
Image: Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images

Former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa has questioned criticism from some people about the government's approach to fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Thursday, he asked people what they expect the government to do because what is being done never seems to be enough.

In a series of Tweets, the outspoken former premier said he was not sure what critics wanted.

“We called on the government to lift restrictions. We said they are treating us like children as if we could not look after ourselves. They said fine, it is in your hands: sanitise, observe the physical distance, wear masks and avoid large gatherings,” he said.

“Truth is, all we wanted was to be allowed to live 'our normal life' as if there was no Covid-19.

“We are now calling on the government to do something. What do we want them to do exactly? Send the police and army to police our behaviour? Restrict interprovincial travel?” he asked.

Shilowa said South Africans were to blame for the recent surge in Covid-19 cases, saying “we are the ones who are out partying”.

“Why is it that it is the other who is the problem and not us? We are the ones who are out partying.

“It is our children who went to the Rage parties with our permission. We are the ones planning to go on holiday, to let our hair down after this terrible year,” said Shilowa.

He said people should stop shifting blame and start accounting for the Covid-19 cases that are linked to restaurants and shebeens.

The problem is with the restaurants and shebeens who allow many people and without masks, right? It is not with us who go there without masks, who insist on a table even if it is full, who do not keep physical distance. Is it the government that gathered outside courts or us?” he asked.

He agreed that the government should close facilities that do not observe regulations, but said people should also be doing something to reduce the risk themselves.

Many social media users agreed with him, saying some of the blame rested on “adults behaving like children”:

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