Political party leaders use time productively as lockdown continues

SABC News John Steenhuisen Twitter @Our DA - Political party leaders use time productively as lockdown continues

The number of confirmed coronavirus (C0VID-19) cases in South Africa continues to rise and currently stands at 1 380 cases with five deaths. This is an increase from the three announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday.

As many South Africans try to get used to the new normal following the 21-day lockdown, political party leaders have found ways to use their time productively.

After President Cyril Ramaphosa’s declaration of a National State of Disaster followed by the 21-day lockdown to curb the spread of the COVID-19, all political activities in the country were cancelled.

While the lockdown has been somewhat of a challenge for citizens, some political party leaders took to social media to not only interact with but also to encourage South Africans to comply with the lockdown regulations.

In the video below, political parties welcome President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to place SA under a 21-day lockdown:

The busiest has been the Democratic Alliance (DA). The party has started an online channel tackling COVID-19-related issues and has also a put together what it termed a Blue Book, which contains a host of solutions and observations in the fight against the pandemic.

The party has now launched a WhatsApp line to report military and police abuse.

DA interim leader John Steenhuisen has encouraged citizens to report abuse of civil rights by police, the SANDF and security personnel.

“In response to the various assaults and civil liberties that South African have witnessed in the cause of the last few days and the fact that parliament is not sitting at the moment, the Speaker of the National Assembly is yet to respond to our request for the creation of an ad-hoc committee. The DA has set up a dedicated WhatsApp line as well as an email address where citizens, who’re civil rights or the right of the citizens are abused by overzealous SAPS or SANDF or security personnel, are encouraged to report these. So we can make sure we escalate them both within the SANDF and IPID to ensure that action is taken against members who do not follow the requirement of what professional policing looks like in constitutional country underpinned by the bill of right.”

The EFF also has put this period to productive use, by engaging with its followers on party ideologies.

“In terms of this process, we must read a document which is accessible via the EFF website. It is accessible via our social media platform; on Facebook and Twitter, but also, you can ask to be sent a WhatsApp copy. You will receive a document that has a lot of pages and responses on frequently asked questions on Maxism. We are going to engage all of us so that we enhance and harness our political understanding and our ideological conviction. It’s part of the engagement we are having during this lockdown due to coronavirus. Let us engage all of us so that we can close the gap between theory and practice. It’s an obligation of all fighters to engage in these questions.”

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