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Disaster Management Act gives Ramaphosa and co carte blanche, says expert

Covid-19 3 days ago

Disaster Act not correct law to deal with Covid-19, says expert.


13 Jan 2021
PREMIUM!
Disaster Management Act gives Ramaphosa and co carte blanche, says expert

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing the nation on developments in relation to the country’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic on Monday, 11 January 2021. Picture: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS.

With eight weeks left for South Africa’s state of disaster to reach a year, a legal expert said on Tuesday the Disaster Management Act used by the government to regulate the Covid-19 crisis gave President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Cabinet carte blanche to extend the period without parliamentary oversight. Unlike a state of emergency, which would have ensured government’s accountability to parliament, the disaster regulations enabled Ramaphosa to “run the show indefinitely without supervision by [members of parliament]”, according to Accountability Now director advocate Paul Hoffman. He maintained the Act, which was “drafted with floods, fires and droughts in mind...

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