Action 4 Freedom lodges appeal against high court judgment over health regulations consultation period

The Western Cape High Court

Action 4 Freedom (A4F) has lodged an appeal against a decision by the Western Cape High Court to dismiss its urgent application over the period of consultation regarding draft amendments to health regulations, said A4F’s Conell Loggenberg.

“We are also considering other aspects because this notice [new health regulations published yesterday] has further dubious elements which we will be making clear shortly in another letter to the deparment of health,” he said.

He said contradictions in the judgment handed down last Friday by Judge Hayley Slingers in which she dismisses the Minister’s of Health’s interpretation of a section of the Health Act – and then, strangely uses the exact same interpretation as substantiation to dismiss the applicant’s case, “gives an impression of a perversion of justice”.

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Yesterday he said they planned to appeal the judgment once they received a dated, court-stamped version of the judgment. The version they received by email on Friday was not dated or court-stamped and it did not list the parties’ legal representatives. Despite repeated requests to judges’ registrars for a dated, stamped version of the judgment, they had still not received such and decided to go ahead with their appeal, he said.

At the urgent application hearing last week A4F argued that the Health Act requires the minister to give citizens at least 90 days to respond to proposed regulations. Argument on behalf of the minister was that he had discretion to publish notices without public consultation or with a number of days of his choice.

Asked by Gateway News whether he saw the minister’s decision, yesterday, to extend the consultation period on the draft health regulations to July 5 as a vindication of A4F’s argument, Loggenberg said: “The minister is now more aware of the public mood and it’s becoming very obvious that he’s making hasty decisions to defend what’s in many ways indefensible.”

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