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S/Africa: ‘Minister rules out closure of schools over Covid-19 concerns

South Africa has no plans to shut down its schools over the current third wave of the coronavirus pandemic in the country, APA learnt on Saturday.Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said this in response to opposition Economic Freedom Fighters’ leader, Julius Malema, who issued an ultimatum to government to shut down the country’s schools to save students from getting the virus.

Malema warned that government’s failure to do would lead his party to forcibly shut the schools down to save students’ lives.

“We give the minister seven days to close the schools. Failure to do so, we’ll have to close schools ourselves as the EFF because we are not going to allow our children to die,” Malema said.

Motshekga, however, said those that were planning to shut down schools forcefully would be dealt with by the law enforcement agencies.

Speaking during a visit of various schools in the northern Limpopo Province, the minister said only parents had the right to decide on whether their children reported to school or not – but not the opposition.

“You can’t rely on them (the opposition). Otherwise, you won’t do anything. It is their work. That is why they are called opposition parties,” Motshekga said during the visit.

South African students are expected to return from their mid-term break to their schools on 26 June as the country continues to witness daily increases in the number of infections and deaths due to the third wave of the Covid-19.

Published on 10.02.2021

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