Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has taken a dim view of Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize’s comments that people will be allowed to walk their dogs during the 21-day nationwide lockdown.
Mkhize made the comments during an interview with Dan Moyane on eNCA on Wednesday morning.
He said, “You can walk, you can walk with your dog, you can jog, but do it with good distance between you [and the next person] so that you don’t create a sense of infection that can spread. But we really are saying that it’s the mixing of large numbers of people that’s the problem.”
‘Don’t try us, please’
However, Malema tweeted his disagreement a few hours later and seemingly suggested that the idea of walking dogs is “rubbish.”
He wrote, “I hear some people will be allowed to walk dogs; just don’t try us, please. We support the government’s intervention, but rubbish won’t be tolerated.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the lockdown on Monday as a way of curbing the spread of coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19. It will start at midnight on Thursday, 26 March until midnight on Thursday, 16 April.
During his address to the nation, he said, “Individuals will not be allowed to leave their homes except under strictly controlled circumstances, such as to seek medical care, buy food, medicine and other supplies or collect a social grant.”
‘Reducing mixing of people’
The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) has been deployed to assist the SA Police Service (SAPS) in enforcing the lockdown.
In another interview with SABC News, Mkhize elaborated further on what the lockdown seeks to achieve.
“It’s the mixing of people that we want to limit. The lockdown will stop the trains and taxis and in that way, the mixing of people who could have the infection is reduced so that for the duration of the three weeks, fewer people would get infected,” he explained.
Speaking to Eusebius McKaiser on Radio 702, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula also said trains, taxis and e-hailing services will be suspended.
He said, “A lockdown is a lockdown; they will not be operating. There will be special catering for public transport.
“We are looking at allocating time for the operation of taxis in the morning peak and in the afternoon. Trains, we are looking at [none] at all.”