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FF Plus warns government against making contradictory statements about Covid-19

Ministers in the ANC government should guard against making contradictory statements that create confusion concerning the government's stance on the administration of Covid-19 vaccinations and the public's rights with regard to the choice to be vaccinated or not.

President Cyril Ramaphosa recently reiterated on numerous occasions that vaccinations are completely voluntary and that the government will respect South Africans' constitutional rights in this regard.

The Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, however, deviated from President Cyril Ramaphosa's stance on the matter in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) earlier today.

In response to questions about, among other things, the vaccination of young children from the FF Plus, Dr Phaahla said that the government is indeed considering the option of expanding the vaccination programme to include children of twelve years and older. He proceeded to indicate that the government may indeed later consider restricting access to public places and services for persons who have not been vaccinated.

According to Dr Phaahla, the government could decide to support similar restrictive measures by businesses and public leisure facilities, like movie theatres and restaurants.

These statements do not demonstrate recognition of the rights of South African citizens and reflect an apparent misunderstanding of the public's level of uncertainty concerning Covid-19 and vaccinations. Statements like these could evoke needless resistance to the government's Covid-19 programme.

The FF Plus wants to caution the government to handle the sensitive matter with the utmost diplomacy and demands that the constitutional rights of all South Africans, including children, must be respected during the decision-making process.

 

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