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Freedom Front Plus

ANC government having unilateral powers to decide about lockdown is wrong

The FF Plus condemns today's decision by Cabinet to extend the national state of disaster until the middle of July this year because Parliament did not have any input into the government's unilateral decision.

In terms of the National Disaster Management Act, a national disaster may be declared for a period of three months after which it can be extended on a month-to-month basis by the relevant Minister, in this case, Nokosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA).

However, in the case of a national state of emergency, the Constitution determines that the President has to ask Parliament for permission to extend the period after 21 days. At the moment and in terms of the national state of disaster, government can do what it wants without any parliamentary oversight.

The FF Plus finds this unacceptable and, therefore, it forms part of the party's current court case that aims to have lockdown declared unconstitutional.

The National Disaster Management Act does not determine that the relevant Minister is accountable to Parliament and, thus, Parliament cannot fulfil its oversight role with regard to any of the decisions made by the Minister.

The FF Plus is also disappointed that government decided to appeal against the De Beer case in which the North Gauteng High Court ruled that the lockdown regulations are invalid.

A responsible government would have swallowed its pride and used the 14 days, as determined by the court, to bring the relevant regulations into line with the ruling.

The FF Plus is convinced that its case against the government will be successful seeing as it is not in the best interest of the country and its people that the ANC and its Ministers have all the authority and make all the decisions.

Contact numbers: 083 627 4397 / 065 801 7216

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