The ACDP will take to the streets – with or without the support of other parties – if the government extends the Covid-19 state of disaster again next month, said the party president, Rev Kenneth Meshoe in a simulcast interview yesterday.
Speaking to Move One Million founder director Jarrette Petzer he said nearly two years of state of disaster rule has undermined parliament and that parliament itself is at fault for allowing repeated extensions of the state of disaster.
“Next week we will be having our NEC meeting and one of the questions we are going to look at is: Are we going to allow another extension of this disaster management that is regulating our lives?” he said in the interview that was live streamed on YouTube and Facebook.
“We will not allow ourselves to be regulated by people who are not voted as members of parliament,” he said, adding that the party may release a statement on the matter before the current disaster management period expires in mid February. “If that means we must go to the streets we’ll go to the streets,” he said.
“For parliament to allow a state of emergency – state of disaster – for two years, I think we are at fault. And a number of members of parliament are starting to see and talk about this. But this is not right, so if we don’t hear noises from others we are going to make a noise. We are tired of this,” said Meshoe.
Answering questions about the ACDP’s High Court application against the government’s rollout of Covid-19 vaccines to teenagers, he accused those opposing the application of using delaying tactics to prevent the hearing from starting.
“We have been discussing the possibility of picketing before the office of the deputy judge president of the Pretoria High Court,” he said.
Meshoe told Petzer that the ACDP legal team wrote to the deputy judge president last week urging him to set deadlines for opposing parties to submit heads of argument so that the matter can proceed. He spoke of various times the matter had been postponed since the ACDP filed an urgent application in October for the rollout of vaccines to teens to be halted until the court had heard the concerns of all affected groups. Since that time more than 1.1 million children aged between 12 and 17 have had Covid jabs.
Fear and political correctness
During the interview, Meshoe also spoke of a “very strong spirit of fear” and political correctness which has kept people – including Christian professionals – from speaking up about concerns relating to the management of the pandemic.
“We have no desire to be politically correct but biblically correct,” he said. But taking that stance came with serious opposition and challenges.
He said some people who were too scared to speak up privately thanked the ACDP for taking a stand.
“So we are grateful to the Lord that we have this privilege of standing up and speaking out for those who cannot speak for themselves.”
He said as Christians we should not allow ourselves to be caught up in fear and especially not allow our children to grow up living in fear – even being taught not to play with their friends “because something might happen to them”.
“This is not the life we want to live in South Africa. The Lord has set us free and we have a constitution that is promising freedom of movement choice and so on that you can mix with everybody you want to,” said Meshoe.
He said we have to come out of fear and “go back to normality” and not accept the so-called “new normal” which is in fact abnormal.
“And I am sure it [a return to normality] will happen because the prayers of God’s people are not falling on the ground.”
On the topic of vaccine mandates he said the government should not attempt to exclude people from commercial and community places as was currently happening in countries like Canada and Australia. Citing a recent failed attempt by University of Venda to restrict entry to students with vaccine passports he said the SRC and an EFF student group at the university pushed back and “opened the gates”.
What happened at the university should be seen as a warning of what would happen on a larger scale if people were told they could not go to shops, he said.
“You cannot force people to take something that they don’t want to. We are not babies; we are not children. The Lord has given us the right to choose that is confirmed by the Constitution. So when people are not allowed to choose for themselves then you are going to see trouble.”
He said the ACDP will be organising an anti-vaccine mandate protest next month.
Asked what responses he would like to see from people who viewed the simulcast, Meshoe said firstly people who have adverse reactions to vaccines or know of such people should alert the ACDP so that they can pressure government to fulfil its promise to compensate such victims. If the government could see how many people have been injured by vaccines “it may slow them down”, he said.
At a press conference in Johannesburg on Monday the ACDP presented two people who said they were healthy before taking the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Zakhele Goxo, a former paramedic from Newcastle, said he sustained injuries from the J&J vaccine that have rendered him unable to work and caused financial stress for his family. Soreka Oosthuizen from Pretoria, said after taking the vaccine she developed a blood clot and experienced prolonged menstrual periods that depleted her blood iron levels and required surgery several times.
Meshoe also appealed to citizens who have concerns about Covid-related issues to overcome their fear of confronting the problem by participating in public protest marches “because that is the language that government understands”.
“What we are facing is tyranny,” he said. He said the situation demands that citizens work together “otherwise we are all going to sink together”.
“We need to come together, stand together, work together and build this great country so that all the expats will come back and rebuild this country of ours,” he urged.
“This nation, I assure you is a great nation that is not going to sink but it is going to be a light among the nations of the world. So I am very positive about the future of this country and what would make me even more positive is to see all our friends — our brothers and sisters, our neighbours — standing together and saying we will not allow tyranny and dictatorship in South Africa,” he said.
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