IRR puts questions to Ramaphosa about the “Command Council”

11 November 2021 - The IRR’s attorneys have sent a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa asking for clarity on the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC), which continues to act through the national State of Disaster that has been in place for over 600 days with no apparent parliamentary oversight.

The IRR’s attorneys have sent a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa asking for clarity on the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC), which continues to act through the national State of Disaster that has been in place for over 600 days with no apparent parliamentary oversight.

For the last three weeks South Africa has had its lowest Covid-19 death, and case, numbers on record since the peak of the first wave. However, the Command Council remains at the helm, and a midnight curfew remains in place without any published scientific justification.

The President has been asked, inter alia, whether the Command Council has ever reported to parliament, and to release the record of all such reports (if any exist); whether the Command Council keeps an attendance record of its meetings, and to release the record of all such attendance (if it exists); and whether the Command Council votes on its conclusions, whether the votes are weighted, and if the conclusions must be unanimous, and to release a record of such votes (if any exists).

Furthermore, notwithstanding the fact that the courts have ruled that the Command Council is protected from being forced, by a court, to disclose minutes of its meetings, the President has been asked if the Command Council even keeps minutes, and to disclose them in the public interest (if any exist).

The IRR’s petition (https://irr.org.za/campaigns/disband-command-council) to disband the Command Council has well over 10 000 individual signatures from South African citizens. The longer the President ignores these citizens the greater their cause of resistance.

Said Gabriel Crouse: “There is a word for a form of government that faces no checks and balances from parliament, that rules the people without explaining itself to the people, and which operates behind a veil of secrecy. The word is dictatorship. It comes from the Latin ‘dictator’, a man invested with unchecked emergency powers, powers which were abused without fail.

“South Africa cannot tolerate a Command Council that sticks around as long as Covid-19 is endemic, abrogating the norms of constitutional democracy. Parliament is now getting back to business, but its business does not seem to include overseeing the Command Council. What does the vote mean when a Command Council can effectively tell citizens, like children, when to go to bed, while leaving your Member of Parliament in the dark as to why. The IRR therefore reiterates its call for the Command Council to be scrapped.”

Media contact: Gabriel Crouse, IRR Head of Campaigns – 082 510 0360; gabriel@irr.org.za
 
Media enquiries: Michael Morris Tel: 066 302 1968 Email: michael@irr.org.za

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