AfriForum and Solidarity are proceeding with the preparation of court papers against Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma over the government’s implementation plan for Covid-19 vaccines. This comes after the minister has failed to respond to a letter of demand that was issued to her by the two organisations on 13 January 2021.
According to AfriForum, the minister had more than enough time to provide answers to the two organisations regarding the government’s vaccine implementation plan, and this leaves these two organisations with no choice but to go to court. In the midst of a pandemic the government is playing a reckless game by refusing to be transparent.
“The government’s non-disclosure of information is further proof why it cannot be trusted with a monopoly regarding the purchasing and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines. A government incapable of demonstrating basic transparency on matters of such a serious nature cannot be given the benefit of the doubt,” said Ernst van Zyl, Campaign Officer for strategy and content at AfriForum.
According to Solidarity, the current implementation plan comes down to nationalising the distribution and administration of the vaccine.
“There is no clarity on the roll-out of the government’s so-called vaccine plan at the moment. It is also not clear why Drs Dlamini-Zuma and Mkhize have the power to prohibit anyone but the state to procure vaccines,” says Connie Mulder, head of the Solidarity Research Institute. “It is a shame that the ministers did not see fit to provide answers about the roll-out of the vaccine. That is why we are now forced to take the case to court. In view of the mistrust in the government and their handling of the vaccine issue, exceptional transparency is now of utmost importance.
“Nobody claims that the government should not be involved in the process too, but there is absolutely no reason why they must be the only institution involved in the process. Speed is now of the essence in a process that has already been hopelessly delayed for too long. We now need as many organisations, institutions and sectors as possible to be involved in the procurement and distribution of the vaccine,” Mulder explained.
“It is absolute wishful thinking to try and tackle the vaccination programme alone. The government is clearly determined to fail, and we cannot stop that from happening. However, what we must do, is to stop them from preventing others from succeeding,” Mulder concluded.
Read the original article in Afrikaans on AfriForum