South Africa: DA Goes to Court to Overturn Government Order to Close Public Schools

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize briefs the media on government's plans to combat the spread of Covid 19 in South Africa.
analysis

With no sign that President Cyril Ramaophosa's public school closure announcement has been gazetted, the DA is seeking a court declaration to nullify the decision.

A law has no effect until it is published in the Government Gazette.

This is one of the legal arguments presented by the DA to challenge the legality of President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement that public schools would close from 27 July to 10 August.

"The presidential announcement and the Cabinet 'decision' it communicates has not been published in the Gazette. As such, it has no legal effect and the applicant is entitled to a declarator to this effect," the opposition party argues.

Ramaphosa made the announcement five days ago, and there is still no sign of a gazette to legally institute the directive.

Initially, the party said it would wait for the regulations to be gazetted, but backtracked on Tuesday and filed an urgent court application.

In a founding affidavit submitted by DA MP Belinda Bozzoli on behalf of the party, she argues that this has become a "disturbing pattern" on the side of executive decision-making, where announcements would be declared "law" in the absence of gazetted regulations.

"Attempts to enforce government policy as law...

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