DA challenges government over extension

Speaking at a briefing on Thursday, party leader John Steenhuisen said the party would no longer allow COVID-19 to be used negligently.

FILE: John Steenhuisen, leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA). Photo: @ParliamentofRSA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – The Democratic Alliance (DA) will launch an urgent legal action against the government’s decision to extend the national state of disaster.

Speaking at a briefing on Thursday, party leader John Steenhuisen said the party would no longer allow COVID-19 to be used negligently.

“It’s urgent, because we can’t be in a state of disaster for another day. But, it is not enough to end a state of disaster, the confinement itself must end. »

He was delivering a virtual address on the spread of the pandemic and the government’s intention to legislate the permanent restrictions.

Earlier this week, Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma announced the extension until April 15, saying the government must continue to adapt existing laws to try to control the spread of COVID-19.

Steenhuisen disagreed, saying the only state of national disaster the country found itself in was a self-imposed state caused by ongoing restrictions.

He added that the government has now stopped listening to science.

“For the past two years, this government has repeatedly claimed to be led by science. Science now tells us that confinement is unnecessary, irrational and unreasonable. »

The AD said the focus should instead be on recovering and transcending what has been lost.

On Wednesday, the leader of the United Democratic Movement, Bantu Holomisa, announced that he was joining AfriForum’s bid to end the state of disaster.

The lobby group began legal action in February to have the policy overturned, arguing that there was currently no catastrophe and therefore no justification for restricting citizens’ freedom under the guise of an emergency.