The civil rights organisation AfriForum today submitted a letter of demand that also serves as the organisation’s written commentary on the amendments to certain regulations in terms of the National Health Act 61 of 2003 and the International Health Regulations Act 28 of 1974. The letter of demand serves as a warning to government that AfriForum will initiate litigation if the regulations are put in place. This follows after the government published and gazetted new health regulations that will make the supposed temporary health measures, under the national state of disaster, permanent. AfriForum will begin preparing its court documents for potential legal action. Since the implementation of the draft health regulations cannot be prevented by interdict, AfriForum will litigate to review the regulations as soon as they come into force.
AfriForum argues that the draft regulations are ultra vires and therefore outside of the intended scope of the legislation. It was never the legislature’s intention for these Acts to have such far-reaching effects and consequences. The draft regulations also replicate certain measures that were previously struck down in court, such as forced quarantine. Finally, the regulations are simply irrational and illegal.
“The government is attempting to pull the wool over our eyes by permanently enacting supposedly temporary state of disaster measures. The draft regulations are clearly nothing less than a desperate attempt by the government to cling to the unbridled power afforded to it during the COVID-19 pandemic. We pledge to fight the implementation of these measures in the highest court in the interest of our members and the general public,” says Reiner Duvenage, Campaign Officer for strategy and content at AfriForum.
AfriForum reminds members of the public to submit their individual commentary on the draft regulations before the April 15 deadline. Members of the public can object to the new regulations by adding their commentary on AfriForum’s website.