ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba is the latest to criticize the government’s expansion of Covid-19 regulations, and said his party will join a court case to see the regulations for dealing with Covid-19 after the end of the state of disaster.
AfriForum and public participation platform DearSA filed a court action this week challenging government regulations.
In the lawsuit, the organizations have asked the High Court in Pretoria to review and overturn the Health Secretary’s decision to publish regulations on the surveillance and control of reportable diseases. The regulations were published on May 4th.
The organizations want the court to declare the regulations unconstitutional and invalid.
< span>Mashaba said Tuesday his party would join the two organizations to challenge the rules as friends of the court or amicus curiae.
He said the party is concerned that the regulations give Health Secretary Joe Phaahla the power to make and amend laws as he pleases, with no accountability mechanisms for abuse of such sweeping powers.
“The regulations published in the Official Gazette are absurd. They are unconstitutional, they are unlawful and they are procedurally irrational.
“South Africans have emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic, which has been impacted by the irrational and power-hungry actions of our government, the restricted our constitutional freedoms in a way that is consistent with our government’s lack of respect for the constitution,” Mashaba said.
He said it was outrageous that the government “wide sweeping powers” to get a minister to unilaterally legislate to restrict people’s freedoms.
“ActionSA stands with freedom-loving South Africans who tirelessly have to work to recover from the cruel violent , economic and social impact of this pandemic. In doing so, we will take legal action where necessary to prevent our government from imposing further restrictions on our freedoms,” he said.
Before the Health Ministry budget vote, said Phaahla that the ministry doesn’t agree with those who want all regulations dropped.
He said the government doesn’t take pleasure in harassing citizens from time to time with restrictions.
“We are sorry where we have wronged you, but please rest assured that all interventions were, and still are, intended for all of us to avoid the severe effects of Covid-19.
“We totally disagree with armchair critics who argue we should abandon all public health measures and just let the virus spread at will and just caring if the hospitals are full,” Phaahla said.
He reiterated that the measures the government has taken using the Disaster Management Act do not do this intended to control people but to protect SA from the harshest effects of Covid-19.
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