“President Ramaphosa, cabinet has no legal powers to close schools”

In response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement to “shutdown” government-sponsored schools, the Democratic Alliance (DA) filed an affidavit at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday.

The DA said it has sought an order declaring the President’s announcement unlawful and asked the court to set aside the decision.

In court papers, DA describes the decision to interrupt learning at schools as illegal and unofficial.

DA MP’s, Professor Belinda Bozzoli and Nomsa Marchesi declared: “We base the affidavit on the reason that neither the President nor the Cabinet may close schools. No law allows them to do so.”

In the latest COVID-19 update, President Ramaphosa announced that state-sponsored schools will be closed on July 27 and will reopen on August 24.

The President clarified that pupils in grade 12 will take a week off, while learners in grade 7 will stay at home for 14 days.

Ramaphosa said the government suspend learning after fearing the spread of the disease.

“On the contrary, announcements by the President are not intended to describe rights, obligations, and powers. It is usually a political document designed to prove a position or influence public opinion.

The regulations published in the Gazette contain well-described powers, rights, and obligations. They also specify which regulations or instructions to repeal or amend,” contended DA.

The DA hammers Angie Motshekga for her disappointments as Minister of Basic Education.

“She can’t express that the decision to close schools was hers. In the media statement, she welcomed the announcement portraying Cabinet’s position.”

The DA said closing the schools is a rash and politically roused as they [government] didn’t the decision  in the best interest of learners’ academic year.

So far, said DA, shutting schools is the most ineffective strategy to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and will have disastrous consequences in the coming years.

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