Liberty Fighters Network (LFN) and its President, Reyno De Beer, on Friday lodged an urgent application in the High Court Gauteng Division, Pretoria to review the amendment to the Regulations Relating to the Surveillance and the Control of Notifiable Medical Conditions promulgated shortly before midnight on Wednesday minutes before the Disaster Management Act Regulations were set to finally lapse.
Since 1 April 2022 this social justice organisation warned the Health Minister, Dr. MJ Phaahla, by letter that the intended amendments to these regulations would be automatically unlawful and of no effect if he ever make them operational by not following the 3 months compulsory consultation period prescribed by Section 90(4)(a) of the Health Act.
That warning came after the previous Minister of Health, Dr. Zwele Mkhize, already proposed amendments to the very Health Regulations with similar effects as the current amendment, during mid October 2020. When LFN got notification of Minister Mkhize’s plans, a written warning was also addressed to him then. Those draft amendments did not see light of day and shortly thereafter Mkhize never returned to his post again and was replaced by Minister Phaahla.
In the lodged court papers LFN requests the Health Minister to produce the full record of the decisions which lead to the hasty promulgation of the amendments. LFN claims that the Minister’s action constituted “in fraudem legis” a legal term used to describe the action of intentionally using authority to bypass another law; in this case the compulsory 3 month consultative process.
“We are 100% sure that the current amendment, which is nothing more than an extension of the COVID-19 measures in disguise, is not enforceable at all and void from its inception”, says De Beer. “Neither the police nor any mall or shop owner may legally force mask wearing or even vaccination or test to attend any gathering”.
LFN did not before challenge the draft Health Regulations when they were published during March 2022 as De Beer believed that it would have been premature as there was no certainty that the government ever would have made those regulations law. Now that the Health Minister finally took the step to do what he was warned not to do, sparked these court proceedings.
“Through this review process we have now opted for, the public could finally receive all the evidence surrounding the COVID-19 disaster, or should I rather say, the lack thereof”, grins De Beer.
The Health Minister has been given 10 days to produce the full record of the decisions leading to the publication of the regulations and the matter set down for hearing on the urgent roll for 24 May 2022.
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