With an increasing push both globally and locally for the introduction of mandatory Covid-19 vaccines various groups in South Africa are taking steps to oppose what they see as an onslaught against vital constitutional freedoms — and are calling on Christians to make their voices heard.
In Johannesburg today the ACDP held a march to the Constitutional Court to “say no to mandatory vaccines” and in Cape Town the party held a demonstration outside the provincial legislature to protest government’s vaccine passport rollout.
ACDP president Rev Kenneth Meshoe told Gateway News earlier this week that they were marching to the apex court because they believe people’s constitutional rights are being undermined. He said their goal was to persuade the government to abandon plans to force people to take a vaccine about which many people had legitimate concerns.
“If this does not work this will not be the last march. We will have another one. We will never be satisfied as long as they talk about forcing everybody,” he said.
He dismissed past assurances by President Cyril Ramaphosa that no citizen will be forced to take the Covid-19 vaccine, saying that the government is using the vaccine mandates being introduced by private companies and developments like this week’s Bafana Bafana live international match for vaccinated spectators only, to drive its mandate agenda.
Bishop Marothi Mashashane leader of the South Africa Christian Forum meanwhile told Gateway News that the forum is pressing on with a bid to apply to the Constitutional Court to interdict the government from making Covid vaccines mandatory and from depriving or limiting access or benefits to unvaccinated citizens.
He said that in a response to the forum’s application for a hearing the Acting Chief Justice said he believes the matter does not qualify for direct access to the Constitutional Court but should first be heard in the High Court. Mashashane said they have made a submission to the ConCourt explaining their factual and legal grounds for wanting to go directly to the nation’s highest court and were awaiting a new directive from the Acting Chief Justice.
The hot topic of mandatory vaccination was also aired during an online Legislative Indaba hosted on Tuesday evening by Dr Pearl Kupe, an attorney and marketplace Christian leader.
Urging Christians to make their voices heard on the issue she called on believers to use the platform of the Dear South Africa website to express their opposition to or support for mandatory vaccinations and vaccine passports. She said it takes just two minutes to complete the questionnaire which can be found by clicking on . www.dearsouthafrica.co.za/mandatory-vaccinations
Kupe warned that there is a clear movement towards government taking away citizens’ freedom of choice in areas such as how they run their families, and what children are taught about sexuality at school. “So today it may be the mandatory vaccine, but tomorrow it might be something else”
“Your feedback could influence policy. So, don’t complain afterwards when decisions have been made, and you didn’t take action,” she said.
News 24 reports that ACDP leader Reverend Kenneth Meshoe addressed supporters who joined today’s march to the ConCourt, saying that the government had not been transparent about the Covid-19 vaccine.
“The ACDP is going to fight this matter. When they implemented the lockdown and closed churches they were testing us. Many of the things they [the government] are doing are not about our health; it is about control over us. We were controlled under apartheid, we are not going to be controlled again,” Meshoe added, according to News 24.
Meshoe reportedly told supporters the government was forcing the country to take the vaccine.
“Everyone has the right not to be subjected to medical or scientific experiments without their consent. I am not a lab rat. If government is willing to be transparent let them come out and tell us what is in this vaccine. Rather them saying we are anti-vaxxers we want to be informed,” he said.
In an interview with SABC today, ACDP whip and attorney Bongani Luthuli said the party was not denying the reality of the Covid pandemic but calling for less restrictive measures to be considered. He also argued that companies imposing vaccine mandates were assuming rights that conflicted with certain employees’ rights and basic constitutional rights. The matter could only be settled by the Constitutional Court, he said.
The ACDP legal team also wrote this week to the University of the Witwatersrand about its mandatory vaccine framework. Writing on behalf of students who do not want to be vaccinated the ACDP has requested details about the university’s decision and various decision makers, advising that they will go to court if the information is not provided by 5pm on Monday.
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