On Thursday morning, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), along with supporters of various soccer teams, staged a picket in Pretoria at the offices of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture. They demanded the opening of stadiums. The party is concerned that these facilities are still not fully operational due to COVID-19 regulations, which are having an impact on the livelihoods of employees.

Malema led hundreds of EFF supporters on a march around Church Square before addressing them. He called for an end to wearing face masks as a precaution against Covid-19 and for stadiums be opened for spectators regardless of vaccination status.

“Do away with the mask, open the country and the economy and we will take responsibility for our own lives,” he said to loud cheers from a crowd that included supporters of the various football clubs and artists.

The picket was joined by sports figures including AmaZulu director Manzini Zungu, SA Football Players Union (Safpu) general secretary Nhlanhla Shabalala and National Football Supporters’ Association (Nafsa) acting CEO Siyabulela Loyilane.

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