Faizel Patel – 05/06/2020
Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and Law Trust Chair in Social Justice at Stellenbosch University has told Radio Islam she agrees with President Cyril Ramaphosa that while court applications are a good development, it also allows government to assess the impact of the COVID-19 regulations on South Africans and the country.
Government has announced that they will be appealing the North Gauteng High Court judgment, which declared certain lockdown regulations under level four and three unconstitutional and invalid.
Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu on Thursday also announced that cabinet had approved the extension of the declaration of the state of national disaster with a month to July 15.
Madonsela has written an open letter to Ramaphosa raising her concerns on governments handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Madonsela says while government placed the country under lockdown to save lives, the challenge came when the lockdown was extended indefinitely.
“The letter was published when the Thuma Foundation and the Social Justice were receiving a lot of cries from people whose income had been stopped. Their R 350 had not started reaching people. The food parcels were going to some places and to not to all of the places.”
Madonsela says there was also a huge concern around religion.
“The letter was also written at the time when a lot of people were crying not so much about going to churches, mosques and shuls. At the time people just needed the ability to call their pastor or their religious leaders to their house to pray with them.”
Madonsela says while she allowed her letter to be published because government’s approach is that citizens can vacillate between the different alert levels, there has to be a balance between saving lives, economic activity, social life and various human rights and freedoms.
Listen to the interview with Professor Thuli Madonsela