If Mmusi Maimane’s non-profit organisation One SA Movement wins in court, schools may be shut again in South Africa. The politician has approached the High Court in Pretoria in a motion to have reopening of schools declared unconstitutional.
I hope this fight will go on even after this virus, just to make sure the schools r in good shape for a black child to attend… It ms not end here
— BoNgANi JoBe💫 (@BonganiJobe87) June 6, 2020
If Maimane wins, the government has 60 days to develop a plan which would be supervised by the court for the safe reopening of schools.
The Constitutional Court and therefore it was brought to the Pretoria High Court. As schools reopen across the country, Maimane wants the matter to be heard on the 17th of June.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga are the respondents in the affidavit.
Opinions are divided in South Africa over the sincerity of politicians on many issues around the Covid-19 pandemic. A section of the public believes some politicians are using salient issues to score cheap political points when their interests are not really genuine.
In his affidavit, he wanted the court to supervise the reopening of schools to ensure pupils safety. “Furthermore, the applicants seek a declaration that the impugned conduct of the respondents, including the president, is irrational based on illegality in so far as it falls below the standard set in section 27 of the Disaster Management Act.
Lastly, this matter concerns executive accountability. In that regard, we seek to invoke the court’s wide remedial powers by seeking structural or supervisory relief stipulating stringent conditions, without which the respondents may not implement any of the level 3 [lockdown] measures and/or more specifically the reopening of schools for 60 days, during which the constitutional breaches may be cured. In the supervising period and to avoid a vacuum, level 4 regulations must be restored.”
He argued further the government’s track record confirmed its lack of capability implying that the plans were likely to fail. “[W]e depart from the point of view that the right to life must be protected proactively and before a catastrophe happens. If, as we fear and, for argument’s sake, only 10% of the 10 million personswill be infected, that will translate into a million infections. “If, as the objective trends analysis demonstrates, 10% of those infected people die, that will translate into 100 000 deaths”.
However, South Africans do not agree on whether schools should open now or not. But the most popular opinion is that the discretion should be of the parents to send their children back to school.