Sakeliga urgently heads to court over health regulations


Sakeliga yesterday served a court application on the Minister of Health, Joe Phaahla, President Cyril Ramaphosa and others. Sakeliga is asking the court to declare unlawful and unconstitutional and to set aside the health regulations that Minister Phaahla promulgated during the night hours of 4 May 2022.

Sakeliga’s application differs from existing litigation and puts further essential arguments before the court. Sakeliga argues that the regulations are both substantively and procedurally irrational. Important additional arguments include that the regulations do not serve any valid purpose in terms of health legislation but are instead unlawfully attempting to achieve other aims, including:

  1. To maintain the “temporary” rules and regulations of the national state of disaster without there being such a state of disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act;
  2. To follow an inappropriate and constitutionally inadmissible public health containment strategy for Covid-19;
  3. To introduce a hidden vaccination mandate by encroaching on people’s rights and freedoms to such an extent that those who have not been vaccinated or have not received certain booster injections, must take a such injections against their will; and
  4. To compel businesses, churches, schools, expos, stadiums and other entities in civil society through criminal punitive measures to divide people into classes based on vaccination status and discriminate among them.

Over the past two years, the state has regularly usurped powers that are not provided for in legislation and that, moreover, in the ways these powers are exercised, are incompatible with the standards for state action required by constitutionalism. However, Minister Phaahla’s most recent regulations dated 4 May in terms of the National Health Act are heralding a new, dangerous era of state interference and health monitoring.

Sakeliga is opposing the regulations because, inter alia, they are harmful to the public well-being at both an economic and a social level. Moreover, they are driving a wedge between, on the one hand, businesses, churches, educational and other institutions of organised society, and, on the other hand, the public. Businesses and other institutions of organised society cannot and should not be instrumentalised by the state to undertake such interventions on behalf of the state.

Sakeliga has noted several other meritorious court applications against the new health regulations, such as those brought by AfriForum and DearSA, and Solidarity, amongst others.

Sakeliga’s urgent court application against the Minister comes after we wrote to the President and the Minister on 13 May, pointing out that Minister Phaahla’s most recent regulations are unlawful and unconstitutional. Sakeliga’s requests for the regulations to be repealed by 18 May have not been responded to.

Download Sakeliga’s court papers here.