The Democratic Alliance says it will be challenging the government’s decision to close public schools during the lockdown.
Yesterday, the DA filed papers in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, in which it is asking for an urgent order declaring the announcement unconstitutional.
The party said it had not yet been published in the Government Gazette, meaning it has no legal effect and that schools should technically not have closed as there is no legal requirement for them to do so.
DA spokesperson for Higher Education Belinda Bozzoli said in an affidavit that South Africa was a constitutional democracy and not an authoritarian state: “The executive is therefore not permitted to legislate by decree without properly exercising statutory powers through publication in the gazette - as this ultimately undermines the rule of law.”
She said neither the president nor cabinet have the legal powers to close schools.
The party says the closure of schools is by far the least effective strategy to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and will have devastating consequences for years to come.
No date has yet been set for the hearing.