EFF leader Julius Malema has called on the government to provide COVID-19 vaccines to “all of Africa,” especially people in Southern Africa.
Malema made the call in a virtual speech to Parliament responding to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Tuesday.
‘We are Africans’
He vowed that the EFF’s support for Africa and Africans around the world will “never be shaken by the so-called ‘Put South Africa First'” social media movement.
He added, “We are Africans. There is nothing called South Africa. These borders were imposed on us by nonsensical imperialists who knew that African unity will serve as a direct threat to imperialism and neocolonialism.
“If supporting Africans means we should lose votes, so be it. If calling for vaccination of fellow African brothers and sisters means we would lose these seats of Parliament, let me go back to Masakaneng.
“I will not sit back and see Africans dying while South Africa can afford to vaccinate them because I want votes. I call on you [President Cyril Ramaphosa] and your so-called liberation movement that benefited a lot from Africa to rise and support the call of EFF to vaccinate all of Africa, particularly the poor countries that cannot afford, particularly Southern Africa because we are one community.”
African borders are ‘imaginary’
Malema once again rubbished the idea of African borders, terming them “imaginary.” He claimed there was no “stampede” when South Africa reopened some land border posts on Monday because foreign nationals “were already here.”
In January, the EFF leader stoked controversy when he urged foreign nationals to “find creative ways” to enter South Africa after the government closed land border posts in the wake of a second COVID-19 wave. ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba subsequently filed a complaint against him in Parliament.
Malema had criticised the border closures as an expression of “self-hate and deepening of the divide amongst Africans” before making his controversial call to foreign nationals.
“The closing of borders within SADC has nothing to do with coronavirus, but reveals a self-hate and desire to appear tough to European nations who have closed their ports of entry to us, yet they can come as they please into our country. One borderless continent will help defeat crime in our continent,” he said.
EFF has steadfastly defended its policy of abolishing “colonial” borders in Africa despite strong criticism, sometimes from its own members. “We therefore make no apology when we call for African Unity, in particular renouncing the colonially imposed boarders,” he vowed in 2019.