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Continuous extension of COVID-19 restrictions is nothing more than a power grab’. We are taking legal action, says DA and civil society groups

AfriForum, Dear SA , and the Democratic Alliance (DA) have all slammed the government’s decision to keep the country in a state of emergency, vowing to challenge the decision in court.

Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Minister Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said the government had extended the National State of Disaster on COVID-19 until April 15, 2022, in accordance with the Disaster Management Act.

This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa stated in his State of the Nation address that the National State of Disaster will be revoked if all measures to manage the pandemic had been executed in accordance with national health standards.

According to AfriForum, legal proceedings began in February to declare the continuation of  the restrictions  null and void, but government legal advisers have indicated they will oppose it in court.

“This again proves AfriForum’s point that the government has no plans of ever giving up the power they have grabbed under the guise of an emergency over the last two years.

Democratic Alliance (DA) says it believes the move by Dr. Dlamini-Zuma, to extend the national state of disaster is nothing but a power grab.

“There is no reason to continue the state of disaster, unless you’re a power hungry politician or the countless corrupt individuals who are profiting from emergency procurement irregularities,” says Jacques Broodryk, AfriForum’s Campaigns Manager.

According to DA MP Cilliers Brink, continuing with the extension will provide ANC cronies and comrades easy access to COVID-19 funds and impinge on constitutional rights.

Brink said the decision to prolong the state of emergency was made without adequate consultation with experts or the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC), without public consultation , and accountability to Parliament.

The Congress of the People (CoPE), Dennis Bloom said the government did not consult political parties when it decided to continue with measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 across the country.

“It’s impossible to endorse the decision if we weren’t consulted,” Bloem said.

Dear SA spokesperson Tim Flack said his organisation’s campaign to end the National State of Disaster and mandatory immunizations garnered more than 270,000 public comments, indicating that this is a serious issue for many people.

He said that his organisation would continue to pursue legal action to get the restrictions lifted

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