'Irrational nitpicking': Sports minister lashes out at EFF ahead of march to his offices

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Nathi Mthethwa (Gallo Images)
Nathi Mthethwa (Gallo Images)
  • Sports minister Nathi Mthethwa lashed out at the Economic Freedom Fighters' planned picket to his Tshwane offices on Thursday.
  • The EFF called out the Premier Soccer League for not wanting to admit fans into stadiums despite the Disaster Management Act allowing fans to attend.
  • Mthethwa said the EFF is aware of how the legislation behind allowing more crowds in works.

Sports, Arts and Culture minister Nathi Mthethwa has lashed out at the Economic Freedom Fighters' planned Thursday march to his office to picket about stadiums being opened further.

The EFF's leader Julius Malema hit out at the Premier Soccer League for not wanting to allow fans into stadiums despite the Disaster Management Act allowing for 2 000 fans to attend at sporting venues.

The PSL hasn't opened stadiums for fans and when they did so in last year's MTN8 final, they only had a select few attending with no tickets being made available for sale.

Cricket had opened its doors for vaccinated fans, but kept stadiums out of bounds for the India tour while rugby has also allowed for fans to watch in person.

Mthethwa said in a statement that the EFF is being ingenious as they understand the working processes of parliament and law-making.

"For a party that claims to be made up of academically acclaimed characters, it just boggles the mind what deduction could have brought EFF to conclude that the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture is the go-to spot," the statement said.

"Assuming basic facts about the Disaster Management Act is known to EFF, it begs the question, what truthfully motivates their irrational nitpickings of Mthethwa?

"Is EFF part of a larger nefarious and dubious campaign and essentially serving as a hired gun if the price is right?

"Are they being used in a political chess game through which they will yet again use unsuspecting innocent people as political pawns?"

In the statement, Mthethwa further explained the decision to open up stadiums doesn't sit with his department and it is something the EFF is aware of and asked they cancel their planned picket.

"No amount of irrationality, vulgarity or grandstanding will intimidate the minister, his department or government into populist and irresponsible decision making and actions," the statement said.

"The EFF is ill-advised to assume that its theatrics will bear any fruit.

"They are advised to show respect to the basic acumen of South Africans and halt their theatrics."

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