WATCH | Malema to Motshekga: Close schools within 7 days or 'we'll close them ourselves'

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  • EFF threatens to disrupt schools if the government does not protect pupils.
  • The party's remarks come just days before schools are set to reopen.
  • The basic education department says it will not entertain the matter raised by the EFF.

The EFF has threatened to close down schools if the Department of Basic Education continues its plan to reopen schools.

According to EFF leader, Julius Malema, the Covid-19 third wave is alarming.

He said school pupils had to be protected at all costs amid the increasing number of infections across the country.

During a media briefing on Thursday at the EFF headquarters in Johannesburg, Malema said if schools didn't take the lives of children seriously, the party would act.

Malema's remarks come just days before primary schools are set to return to normal in-person learning. Unions, such as the South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) called for school staff members to be prioritised for vaccination before returning to contact classes.

READ | Covid-19: Vaccinating teachers in next roll-out phase will help schools fully re-open - expert

News24 previously reported that a vaccination plan for teachers was still in the planning phase and that nothing had been confirmed as yet.

He said:

Schools must close and they must close with immediate effect because our children are going to die. We give the minister seven days to close schools. Failure to do so, and we'll have to close schools ourselves.

Malema accused Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga of being "missing in action" and not having a proactive, detailed plan that would outline how pupils would be protected during the third wave.

He said the department was not efficient in communicating how it would implement stringent Covid-19 measures in schools. "Our children are testing positive, our children are going to die. Where is the minister of education? Who heard from the minister of education ... We must be told where is mister of education," Malema said.

The department's spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga, said they would not entertain the matter by the EFF - and added that law enforcement would monitor the situation.

"Political parties have a right to express themselves on whatever matters they wish. We will not respond to every statement they make. it is unhelpful," he said.

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