IRR responds to Minister of Health

14 January 2022 - Health Minister Joe Phaahla has finally conceded the need to consider ending the “State of Disaster” and has promised to present contingencies to the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) within the next 7 days.

Minister Phaahla acknowledged that this comes under pressure from civil society, in which regard the IRR leads the campaign to end the “Disaster” and disband the “Command Council”, having pursued a public pressure and legal correspondence campaign for months, and having just delivered a 16,000 signatory petition to the Presidency.

Minister Phaahla incorrectly characterizes this as an attempt to “rush” the government into respecting constitutional requirements of the Bill of Rights and parliamentary oversight.

Said Gabriel Crouse: ‘To call a team that is trying to extinguish the fire burning through our constitutional norms “rushed” is to completely misunderstand the nature of the problem. Government credibility is flaming to ash in the blaze of its own contradictions. The NCCC could not end the “Disaster” of its own existence fast enough.’

That notwithstanding the IRR welcomes minister Phaahla’s announcement that the crest of the fourth wave has been reached and that a Covid-19 trough lies ahead.

No other robust constitutional democracy has suffered under a perpetual “Command Council” type regime. The sooner South Africa returns to the international norm of having accountable government the sooner the top priority identified by IRR polling, unemployment, can be addressed transparently.

Media contact: Gabriel Crouse, IRR Head of Campaigns – 082 510 0360; gabriel@irr.org.za

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