ActionSA joins AfriForum to challenge health regulations

ActionSA plans to join the legal fight instituted by DearSA and AfriForum against Health Minister Joe Phaahla concerning health regulations.

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba said the gazetted regulations are preposterous, unconstitutional, unlawful, and they are procedurally irrational.

Mashaba said on Tuesday: “This action arises directly from the minister gazetting an extension to the period for public comment while, simultaneously, publishing Regulations to the Surveillance and the Control of Notifiable Medical Conditions: Amendment 2022 in the Government Gazette.

“As a direct consequence of the minister’s actions, sections of the draft regulations have been given the full effect of law and permit the government to restrict gatherings, movement across our borders, masking mandates, and entry to public spaces.

“The regulations give the minister powers to create and amend legislation at whim, with no accountability mechanisms for the abuse of such sweeping powers.”

ActionSA’s application will be argued by the head of strategic litigation and member of the party’s senate, advocate Gill Benson.

“ActionSA’s application will take the form of an amicus curiae [friend of the court] application to the papers lodged by DearSA and AfriForum.

“South Africans have emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic severely impacted by the irrational and power-hungry actions of our government that restricted our constitutional freedoms in a manner consistent with our government’s lack of respect for the constitution.

“While the world is opening up and returning back to normal, it is outrageous that our government is introducing wide-ranging powers to have a minister unilaterally create legislation to limit our freedoms.”

Mashaba added that his party would stand in solidarity with “freedom-loving” South Africans who work tirelessly to recover from the pandemic, noting that ActionSA would pursue legal action as far as may be necessary.

On Monday, AfriForum announced that it would head to court over “outrageous” health regulations. The organisation said it was alarming that the regulations gazetted were not the same as the ones published for public comment.

AfriForum’s campaigns manager Jacques Broodryk explained: “Citizens of this country are not pawns on the government’s chessboard to be pushed around whenever power-hungry officials feel like it.

“AfriForum will fight these regulations in the highest courts, if necessary, to ensure that citizens’ rights are fully restored. Citizens are fed up with the government’s constant encroachment on their personal freedoms.”

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