Disaster Management Act enabling abuse of power – AfriForum files court papers

AfriForum

Disaster Management Act enabling abuse of power – AfriForum files court papers
Disaster Management Act enabling abuse of power - AfriForum files court papers

The civil rights organisation AfriForum on 5 September 2022, filed court papers to the High Court in Pretoria to review and set aside sections of the Disaster Management Act which the organisation identified as conduits for the abuse of power by the government.

AfriForum’s court application is a direct challenge to the constitutionality of Section 27(2) in conjunction with Section 27(5)(c) of the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002.

The crux of AfriForum’s challenge comes in against the background of the Covid-19 pandemic after it was declared a national disaster in terms of the Act.

The country experienced a situation whereby the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs exercised unprecedented wide and extensive powers over an extended period to make regulations which invaded the everyday lives of South Africans at an unprecedented level and scale.

The affects brought about by the government overreach enabled by these sections of the Act include:

1. a serious adverse effect on several fundamental rights of individuals

2. a serious adverse effect on several businesses in the country and people’s livelihoods

3. a serious adverse effect on the economy of the country as whole

4. an adverse effect on basic education and the rights of children

5. an adverse effect on the normal implementation and execution of several pieces of legislation

6. a significantly diminished role of Parliament, the doctrine of separation of powers and the constitutional democracy and some of its founding values in terms of Section 1 of the Constitution

AfriForum is therefore taking on this case in the interest of its more than 306 000 members and the public at large.

“For over two years, citizens and businesses have been adversely affected by unabated government overreach and abuse of power, largely sanctioned by certain sections of the Disaster Management Act,” says Ernst van Zyl, Campaign Officer for Strategy and Content at AfriForum.

“One of the biggest tasks civil rights organisations like AfriForum face, is identifying which powers were abused by the government during the Covid-19 pandemic and making sure the legislative avenues that made these abuses possible are reviewed and reformed,” concludes Van Zyl.

Read the original article in Afrikaans on AfriForum

SOURCEAfriForum