PRESS RELEASE: GOVERNMENT ENDS STATE OF DISASTER – KEEPS EXTRAORDINARY POWERS

by FOR SA
5 April 2022

PRESS RELEASE

05 April 2022

For immediate distribution

GOVERNMENT ENDS STATE OF DISASTER – KEEPS EXTRAORDINARY POWERS

The Government terminated the National State of Disaster with effect from midnight last night, 4 April 2022.  This marks two years and three weeks since Minister Dlamini-Zuma first declared the COVID-19 pandemic a national disaster on 15 March 2020.  In her notice terminating the State of Disaster, the Minister said that transitional regulations (made under the Disaster Management Act, 2002), will remain in effect for 30 days after the State of Disaster ends.  These regulations include the requirement for people to produce either a vaccination certificate or a negative COVID-19 test certificate (not older than 72 hours) in order to enter gatherings of over 1000 people indoors / 2000 people outdoors. (Gatherings below this number have no entry requirements.)

Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA) celebrates the termination of the State of Disaster but views the Minister’s continued regulation of society using the Act as ultra vires:  “The Minister is expressly only granted authority to make regulations and/or directions if a state of disaster is declared.  Once a state of disaster is no longer declared, the Minister is not empowered by the Disaster Management Act to make regulations”, says FOR SA’s legal advisor, Daniela Ellerbeck.  “The Act expressly states that if no state of disaster is declared, then Government must deal with a national disaster only in terms of existing legislation and contingency arrangements, which laws and arrangements cannot be augmented by regulations or directions.

 “The state of disaster has been ended precisely because COVID-19 is no longer seen as a severe threat to public health. The State can no longer show that it requires extraordinary powers to take exceptional measures to ‘save lives’”, says FOR SA’s Executive Director, Michael Swain. “There is, therefore, no justifiable legal, scientific or logical reason for these severe limitations on religious freedom rights to continue for one more day.”

ENDS

For more information, contact:
Michael Swain
Executive Director, FOR SA
Email: [email protected]   
Cell: 072 270 1217

To share this article click here

Support FOR SA

Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA) is dedicated to protecting and preserving the freedoms and rights that the South African Constitution has granted to the faith community. If you have found this helpful, please consider supporting the work of FOR SA to protect our constitutional right to enjoy the freedom of religion by:

  • Making a financial contribution to FOR SA at https://forsa.org.za/donate/ As a non-profit organization, we are entirely dependent upon God’s grace for finances. Your generosity will help make a significant difference as we work to fulfill our mission to keep the Gospel free by advocating for religious freedom. We appreciate every gift, big or small!
  • Signing up (at no cost) to FOR SA at https://forsa.org.za/contact-us/join-us/ and subscribing to our Newsletter.
  • Praying for us as we defend this precious freedom before the government and courts of law.
  • Following us, and sharing our posts, on Facebook at “Freedom of Religion SA”.
  • Informing us, should you become aware of any case in which religious freedom is threatened.