More than two weeks after filing an application to the Constitutional Court for direct access to the apex court to apply for an urgent interdict to block the government from mandating Covid-19 vaccinations, the South African Christian Forum (SNACF) is still waiting for a court date,
“We are still waiting for the directives of the Acting Chief Justice. Even yesterday we were in the Constitutional Court,” said Bishop Marothi Mashashane president of the SACF.
After the forum made a similar application in mid October the ConCourt said the matter should first be heard in the High Court. After the forum made further representations to the ConCourt they were advised to submit a new application which they did on November 17.
The forum is seeking an order interdicting the government from making Covid-19 vaccines mandatory and from depriving or limiting access or benefits to unvaccinated citizens. They also want the Covid-19 curfew to be lifted and declared unlawful and unconstitutional.
Mashashane said the respondents — the government, the president, the Cogta minister, the ministers of health, of labour and of justice, and the National Coronavirus Command Council — had ignored their stipulation to give notice of intention to oppose the matter within five days, “so they have now lost their rights to defend the matter”.
“All we can say at the moment is that the acting chief justice is obviously seeking to be appointed as chief justice. As we know, it is now in the process, they have four candidates. So, none of them is willing to deal with this matter which will go contrary to the wishes of the president or the state.
“So we are of the view that the moment they appoint a chief justice — or the process of appointing a chief justice is finalised — we will definitely have our date in court,” he said.
In a founding affidavit accompanying the forum’s notice of motion, Mashashane says the relief the forum is seeking “appropriately balances the imperatives of balancing constitutional rights and ensuring that South Africa fights the Covid-19 pandemic in as robust a manner as possible without directly and indirectly infringing the rights of South African citizens and residents”.
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