Police probe into whether EFF 'march to save lives' broke rules is ongoing

EFF supporters demanding Covid-19 vaccines in Pretoria on June 25 2021. File photo.
EFF supporters demanding Covid-19 vaccines in Pretoria on June 25 2021. File photo.
Image: Ziphozonke Lushaba

Organisers of the EFF “march to save lives” have yet to be held to account, should any lockdown regulations have been violated when hundreds of supporters gathered in Pretoria.

Police spokesperson Col Brenda Muridili said on Monday an investigation in terms of the Disaster Management Act regulations was under way and, once complete, the docket would be submitted to the director of public prosecutions for a decision on whether to prosecute.

Hundreds of EFF supporters gathered for a picket outside the offices of the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) on Friday to demand approval of the Russian and Chinese Covid-19 vaccines.

At the time, gatherings with a maximum of 100 people were allowed, with the adherence to Covid-19 safety protocols a requirement.

After the president’s announcement of tighter lockdown restrictions on Sunday, the red berets issued a statement calling on South Africans to defy the new regulations.

“The EFF rejects the announcement by Cyril Ramaphosa and calls on the people of South Africa to defy Ramaphosa until there is a clear vaccination plan for the whole country. Experience has thus far demonstrated that lockdowns and restrictions are not a measure to contain coronavirus and that only massive vaccination will contain the pandemic. The measures by Ramaphosa are not an assurance that there will not be a fourth and fifth wave of the pandemic,” the party said in a statement.

With the adjusted level 4 regulations now in place, calls to defy them could land party leaders in hot water. Breaking restrictions on gatherings and failing to wear face masks in public could result in a fine of six months' imprisonment.

According to the amended regulations: “Any person who incites, instigates, commands or procures any other person to commit any offence in terms of these regulations, commits an offence and is, on conviction, liable to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.”

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