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AfriForum’s case regarding repatriation and quarantine postponed

AfriForum’s case regarding the problems that face South Africans who return or are being repatriated to the country was partially heard this morning by Judge Colleen Collis in a virtual hearing of the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. The argument on the merits of the case was postponed to the week of 13 July 2020, while the Court rejected AfriForum’s application for amendments to the initial application.

The case concerns, among others, that people who are currently returning to South Africa from abroad are compelled to stay in quarantine in a state facility for a minimum of 14 days and that provision is even made for requiring them to pay for their enforced stay (although this is not yet being enforced).

AfriForum has received numerous complaints from people in these facilities over the past three months. Complaints include a lack of medical care and medication, problems to obtain food for detainees with specific dietary requirements, unhygienic conditions occur in some facilities and that people with tragic personal circumstances cannot get an early release after testing negative. Some specifically repatriate because of crisis situations in their families, but then can do nothing to support their loved ones – even when testing negative, because they still have to see out the obligatory 14 days.

With time in mind, and because the quarantine regulations are constantly being adapted, AfriForum’s legal team will now consider whether it makes sense to continue with the current case, or rather to submit a new application that will be in line with the most recent regulations.

AfriForum’s aim remains to find solutions to the repatriated citizens’ problems without compromising anyone’s safety.

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