South Africa: Courts Cannot Fix a Broken State, Solve the Vaccine Problem

opinion

Lawfare is truly alive and well in this country. And as is often the case with lawfare, the question is whether courts are the appropriate forum to resolve these disputes.

The Covid-19 pandemic is not unique to South Africa. What is different, however, is the rush to courts to litigate against a range of government interventions. AfriForum and Solidarity, which are habitually enthusiastic litigators, have announced that they intend to launch an application against, inter alia, the government's decision to control all procurement of vaccines, thereby seeking to shut out the medical aids schemes from acquiring vaccines for members. South African Breweries is also off to court to gain an order setting aside the alcohol ban.

Lawfare is truly alive and well in this country. And as is often the case with lawfare, the question is whether courts are the appropriate forum to resolve these disputes.

In the first place, the executive are entitled to a significant measure of judicial respect regarding choices made to deal with a pandemic that no other country has successfully negotiated. Judges are not omnicompetent and thus are hardly in a sound place to make calls on what is in reality a set of exquisitely...

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