The Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) wants attorney Zehir Omar struck off the roll of attorneys after he allegedly incited Muslims to congregate despite the Disaster Management Act Regulations.
The regulations discourage the publication of misleading information with the intent to deceive people regarding government’s measures to address COVID-19. Some Muslim worshippers were recently arrested for congregating in Pretoria west.
The EFF’s Treasurer-General Omphile Maotwe pressed charges against Omar at the Pretoria Central Police Station.
“No, the message is very clear, it was said by government that anyone who contravenes the lockdown regulations must see the full might of the law. So, we are saying he must be arrested with immediate effect. We opened the case today and gave police 24 hours to go and arrest him. If they don’t, we invite the military to do that and take him to court and get him locked up. If they don’t they will be directly provoking us to take community arrest. We don’t want to go there; we are the law-abiding citizens of this country.”
Omar says he never intended to mislead the public. He says he is more than prepared to go to court after the EFF laid a charge against him.
“I want to say it equivocally to all that I never told the public to disobey the law. The EFF and the lawyers know that the arrest should not be used as a method of punishing someone. I am willing to submit myself to the police and the court. I am willing to answer to a court. I don’t have to be arrested or punished for a conduct which I’m deemed to innocent until I’m proven guilty.”
Attorney Zehir Omar has appealed to all Muslims in South Africa to abide by the lockdown regulations and worship from their homes, as they await a ruling by the High Court on the matter.
Omar has since posted a video with this appeal.
“ Last week we had a case in the high court where we acted for two applicants who wish to perform salaah . We argued that the regulation prohibiting the performance of salaah is unconstitutional. The judge undertook to give judgement in this coming week – in the interim brothers and sisters respect the regulations do not perform salaah in the masjid perform salaah at home,” says Omar