Vaccine passports or mandatory vaccines would be discriminatory and would amount to the “dompass” of the apartheid era, said ACDP president Rev Kenneth Meshoe in a press statement released this week.
He was responding to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s adress to the nation last Sunday night in which he spoke of the possibility of “introducing measures that make vaccination a condition for access to workplaces, public events, public transport and public establishments.”
“What is however, even more disturbing is that President Ramaphosa announced that ‘government has set up a task team that will undertake broad consultations on making vaccination mandatory for specific activities and locations.’ This announcement directly contradicts all his earlier undertakings that vaccinations will not be made mandatory. Can one then believe anything that President Ramaphosa or his government says regarding vaccinations?” says Meshoe.
Meshoe’s statement continues: “What has made mandatory vaccines suddenly so urgent? While conceding that the introduction of such measures ‘is a difficult and complex issue”, the president states that “if we do not address this seriously and as a matter of urgency, we will continue to be vulnerable to new variants and will continue to suffer new waves of infection.’ How can making vaccines mandatory stop citizens from being vulnerable to new variants when the president at the same time admits that only ‘over the next few days and weeks, as more data becomes available, will (we) have a better understanding of…how effective the current vaccines are against the variant Omicron.’ At this stage, it is unknown, and there is no justification for the about-face on mandatory vaccines due to the variant Omicron.
“The ACDP supports the decision to review the use of the Disaster Management Act, with a view to ultimately lifting the National State of Disaster. We, like many others, have been opposed to the ongoing lockdown, which has devastated businesses, employment and the economy. Parliament has had no say over the continual extensions of the state of disaster as well as the contents of the gazetted regulations, which in many cases have been illogical and irrational. We will however be closely monitoring any amendments to the health regulations that may be used in place of the Disaster Management Act, particularly regulations that would seek to impose vaccine passports and mandatory vaccinations. We will contest such regulations all the way to the Constitutional Court, if necessary.
“Lastly, we believe that South Africa is being punished for its scientists’ ability to discover the Omicron variant by a kneejerk reaction of banning flights to and from southern African countries. This will have a devastating impact on the tourism and hospitality industries, just as these industries were starting to recover. We trust that these countries will reconsider their hasty decisions and reinstate flights to and from southern African countries.”
Gateway News believes that when it comes to Covid there is a need for us Christians to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. We believe that all of us have something to learn on this complex issue and are committed to reporting fairly on different sides of the debate.
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