The civil rights organisation AfriForum will continue with its court case if the government does not lift the state of disaster. AfriForum will also oppose the proposed amendment to the Health Act. The amendment to the health legislation is just another attempt by the government to retain the power gained through the introduction of draconian regulations over the past two years.
Following sustained pressure from AfriForum and other organisations, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has indicated that the state of disaster will be lifted on 5 April.
However, it is worrying that the removal of the state of disaster will not put an end to the regulations that accompanied the state of disaster. A recently published regulation now indicates that the current regulations will still be valid for 30 days after the state of disaster has been lifted.
This means that even if there is no state of disaster the government will still be able to enforce all these unnecessary regulations until it has succeeded in amending the current Health Act to include these regulations in permanent legislation.
The proposed amendments to the Health Act will give the state power to force people into quarantine camps and impose medical treatment on them. Wearing masks indoors will also remain compulsory and there will also be a permanent restriction on the number of people who may attend events.
AfriForum will submit comments to oppose the amendments to the Health Act. The organisation has also already instructed its legal team to take the necessary legal action should the government decide to proceed with these amendments.
“The ANC is power mad and does its utmost to devise all sorts of cunning ways to cling to its unlimited powers. As long as these regulations are in place, the president and a small group of ministers can bypass parliament and devise regulations as they see fit. For all practical purposes, South Africa has not been a democracy for the last two years and therefore AfriForum will continue to fight for citizens’ rights,” says Jacques Broodryk, Campaign Manager at AfriForum.