The Helen Suzman Foundation is asking the High Court in Pretoria to order Parliament to pass special legislation for the management of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa.

The foundation’s advocate, Max du Plessis, argued that the Disaster Management Act (DMS) was only intended as an initial response to the pandemic until Parliament could take up their legislative duties again.

The Speaker of Parliament as well as the President opposed the application.

Du Plessis says the Constitutional Rights of South Africans for openness, transparency and public participation during the lawmaking process are encumbered while the DMA is extended indefinitely.

“So when we come to you and we say we would wish for Parliament’s duty to be re-engaged for its lawmaking powers to be exercised by it during this pandemic, when our rights are violated across the country in response to the pandemic. We do so because we want that constitutional goal to be achieved. That goal cannot be achieved by the Minister in exercising the regulations of the DMA because there is no public participation.”