FF+ Bill ‘good for democracy’, says analyst

Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald debates President Cyril Ramaphosa's third Sona, 26 June 2019. Picture: Screenshot.

University of Cape Town associate professor of public law Richard Calland said the FF+ didn’t need to go this route.

Freedom Front Plus (FF+) leader Pieter Groenewald’s proposed private member’s Bill to hold government accountable for Covid-19 regulations augured well for the country’s constitutional democracy, said political analyst Dr Ralph Mathekga.

Ministers not accounting to the National Assembly on the application of the state of disaster regulations were “not in line with the constitution”, said Groenewald as he lobbied for support of the Bill. Mathekga agreed: “We are living in unprecedented times, where we have seen the executive quite indulgent.

“The pinnacle of this legislation is that you should continue with it, only if the normal legislation cannot achieve what you want to achieve.

“This is a very interesting test case on the extent to which the executive has to account when it comes to taking overreaching measures – and it is good for our democracy.”

But University of Cape Town associate professor of public law Richard Calland said the FF+ didn’t need to go this route.

“There is nothing to stop parliament using its authority over the executive.”

Asked about his chances of getting a nod from MPs, Groenewald was upbeat about getting a sizeable number of votes.

“There’s a good chance of success.”

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