Non-governmental organisation Afriforum claimed the government denied their medical team to test a group of residents at a quarantine site in Mpumalanga after they offered to assist.
Afriforum said it arranged for a medical team to visit the Zithabeseni quarantine camp close to Groblersdal on Sunday to test approximately 107 residents for Covid-19, but were denied entry.
“Not only was the private medical team refused entrance to the premises, but the South African Police Service (SAPS) also called in backup to ensure the medical team won’t be able to return.
“This follows after the government informed residents they wouldn’t be tested by the state for Covid-19 at this stage and that they would be detained in the quarantine camp, regardless of the fact that they didn’t know whether they have the virus. They are also not allowed to self-isolate at home of have themselves tested at their own cost,” Afriforum said in a statement.
The organisation said they had written letters to the Health Minister Zweli Mkhize and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor detailing what they believe to be appalling conditions at the camp.
AfriForum’s deputy chief executive Ernst Roets said: “The civil rights organisation also demanded that the SAPS should allow the family to be tested for the virus so they could be released and isolate themselves if necessary.”
This is in reference to Dr Leon Nel, his wife Melanie and their two children, who recently returned from a vacation in Mozambique.
Roets said Afriforum did not believe the facility met the standards set down by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“They are also being held there against their will – despite the fact that they haven’t been tested for Covid-19. They are now being told they aren’t allowed to be tested. It is a draconic infringement of human rights that AfriForum will fight in court.”
The case will be heard at the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday, 6 May.
The provincial health department has refused to comment as they consider the case to be sub-judice.
(Compiled by Molefe Seeletsa)
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