KZN Premier retracts threat of quarantine camps after AfriForum threatens with legal action
28 April 2020
AfriForum welcomes the retraction of the threat by Sihle Zikalala, Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, that people who test positive for COVID-19 will be forced into quarantine camps regardless of whether they are effectively self-isolating. The retraction over the past weekend followed a lawyer’s letter from AfriForum sent to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Minister of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs, regarding Zikalala’s threat. The regulations issued by Dlamini-Zuma still empowers government officials to do exactly what Zikalala threatened to do, however, and AfriForum therefore plans to continue with legal action in this regard.
In its lawyer’s letter to Dlamini-Zuma, AfriForum stated that the regulations – which stipulate that people can be criminally prosecuted if they refuse to cooperate with government instructions and be taken to one of these quarantine camps – is irrational, because it empowers government to forcefully send people who tested positive for COVID-19 but are effectively self-isolating to such camps. “This is not only irreconcilable with a society that claims to cherish basic freedoms. The consequence is that people simply wouldn’t have themselves tested for COVID-19. Moreover, the regulations place an irrational burden on government resources,” says Ernst Roets, Head of Policy and Action at AfriForum.
Issued by Hesti Steenkamp, Media Relations Officer, AfriForum, 28 April 2020