South Africa’s outspoken opposition politician Julius Malema has told worshippers in his country to avoid going to church from June 1.
He said on Thursday that the move to re-open places of worship is a “trap” to would lead to more coronavirus infections and ultimately deaths.
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday said churches and other places of worship will be allowed to resume operation from June 1.
The reopening of places of worship is part of a larger policy of easing lockdown restrictions in the country. The president however said these places of worship will be limited to 50 people or less.
Covid-19: Malema tells worshippers ‘don’t go to Church, it’s a trap, you’ll die’
All worshippers will also be required to wear masks and sanitise their hands before entering these places of worship.
Worshippers would also have to practice social distancing when they gather.
Places of worship were closed in March to stop the spread of the coronavirus virus as part of lockdown restrictions.
“The faith community is an integral part of the South African life and has made a great contribution in the fight against the coronavirus,” Ramaphosa said in a televised address.
But Mr Malema says it is a dangerous move to reopen churches and places of worship as he warned citizens and members of his Economic Freedom Fighters party not to attend worship.