Employers Beware: COVID-19 Vaccines are Not Mandatory

On 28 May 2021 the Minister of Employment and Labour, Mr. Nxesi, allegedly published a Directive in the Government Gazette which might give the incorrect impression that an employer is allowed to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory in the workplace. This is in direct contradiction to statements made by President Ramaphosa when addressing the nation in the past.  Further, the alleged Government Notice which some media outlets reported on had not been published. Without official publication number, such cannot be referenced in a legal dispute, with potentially far reaching consequences. Nevertheless, the document sported the Minister’s signature, and the date. On closer inspection, the signature appears to have been pasted onto the document, instead of having actually been signed. The document was published on 11 June, two weeks thereafter.

While this needs to be investigated, COVID-19 vaccinations can in any event not be made mandatory in South Africa until our Constitution, a plethora of other national and even international laws have legally been changed,” says LFN President Reyno De Beer. “It appears as if Government deliberately made reference to the phrase ‘mandatory’ in these, according to LFN unlawful, Directives by putting the blame on employers. This may well have to do with potential damage claims,” De Beer added.

LFN continues to advocate that there are no legal Disaster Management Act Regulations in force since 24 June 2020. On that day, the day the High Court order by Justice Davis came into operation. Thus, any regulation or directive made by the Government thereafter is  automatically null and void, inclusive of these ‘directives’ made by the Employment Minister.

Furthermore, an employer who coerces an employee to undergo vaccination or any other medical intervention, inclusive of COVID-19 tests, and does so without the clear consent of such employee will also open himself up to future criminal and civil prosecution. All employees, irrespective of the industry they work in, may legally refuse the vaccine or even being tested for COVID-19, as for any other illness.

The public is cautioned to first obtain proper legal advice on any COVID-19 measure published in the media before spreading potentially incorrect information or which could lead to absolute chaos. Anyone who requires expert information about COVID-19 measures and the national state of disaster may contact the LFN legal team by email on legal@libertyfighters.co.za

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