The Democratic Alliance (DA) has warned the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) that breaching the lockdown gathering limits could see the Red Berets disqualified from the upcoming local government elections on 1 November.
“The DA reminds the EFF ahead of its upcoming campaign event in Johannesburg on Sunday, that the legal limit for outdoor gatherings is 500 persons,” DA Chief Whip Natasha Mazzone said on Thursday.
Last month Julius Malema, the leader of the EFF said: “We are campaigning. No lockdown is going to tell us to do anything. We are back to the streets.”
The Red Berets recently reiterated their defiant stance saying: “We will continue to campaign optimally and no South African will be turned away from participating in any EFF elections programme based on an unreasonable lockdown”.
Mazzone said the DA was reminding the EFF that any attendance in excess of 500 people outdoors will be illegal.
“We say specifically to Mr. Malema – you cannot hold an illegal rally in this election, and the legal limit is 500 persons.
“The rules of lockdown by which we are all forced to live, have seen devastating abuses of power by the ANC government, leading to losses of life, serious assaults, victimisation and destruction of the economy – but, there cannot be one set of rules for all citizens and another for the EFF.
“Therefore, at Sunday’s event, 500 people maximum shall be allowed, or the entire event will be illegal.”
Mazzone added: “Holding illegal events during a campaign period would undermine the freeness and fairness of the election, and would open the door to the EFF being barred from contesting this election.
“An illegal campaign event, if the EFF exceeds 500 persons on Sunday, would result in criminal and electoral consequences.”
Mazzone said in contrast, the DA’s manifesto launch on Saturday 25 September at 11:00 am will be fully compliant with the regulations “as we abide by the rule of law”.