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Government told to provide evidence for ongoing lockdown or prepare for court

The latest lockdown extension is irrational and must be lifted immediately, says Dear South Africa.
Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. A recent WHO paper estimates that the infection fatality rate of the virus is less than 0.2%. Image: Jairus Mmutle, GCIS

Public participation group Dear South Africa has asked Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to provide the evidence that supported her decision to extend the lockdown earlier this month or prepare for an urgent court date.

In a letter delivered to the minister on this week, Dear South Africa attorneys Hurter Spies Inc asked the minister to provide written reasons for the extension of the lockdown announced on October 14, backed by supporting documentation and expert evidence. She has also been asked to give a commitment that no further lockdowns will be announced.

The minister has been given until October 30 to reply or, according to the letter, Dear South Africa “will be compelled to approach the high court for appropriate relief”.

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Government declared a national state of disaster on March 15 under the Disaster Management Act, and has extended this five separate times since then. Most South Africans were initially supportive of the lockdown due to the unknown threat from the Covid-19 virus, though support has dwindled according to various public participation campaigns run by Dear South Africa.

The law

The Disaster Management Act empowers the minister to issue regulations or directions where these are needed to assist or protect the public, to provide relief, or protect property. Disasters may only be declared where existing legislation and contingency arrangements are inadequate.

In terms of Section 37 of the Constitution, a state of emergency may only be maintained for 90 days before its extension must be approved by Parliament.

No such parliamentary approval has been obtained for the latest extension.

Hurter Spies attorney Daniel Eloff says seven months into the lockdown, there is no evidence that the extended lockdown is curbing the spread of the virus. The number of cases peaked in July and has been in steady decline since then.

“The Covid infection rate peaked several months ago, and the original reason given for the lockdown was to stop the healthcare system being overloaded. We now know the healthcare system is far from overloaded, and the additional facilities provided to cope with the expected wave of infections have been closed because the wave has passed.”

Earlier cases brought before court

Meanwhile, judgment is expected this week on the case brought by Liberty Fighters Network (LFN), which successfully challenged government’s lockdown regulations in court in June. Government appealed the decision.

LFN founder Reyno de Beer says if the court decision goes its way, there is a possibility that the tobacco ban could return.

This is because the Johannesburg High Court decision in favour of LFN excluded regulations pertaining to the tobacco ban, which was then being heard separately as a result of a case brought by the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita). Fita chair Sinenhlanhla Mnguni says this is unlikely as agreement was reached with government to take a consultative approach with the industry should it want to reimpose a tobacco ban.

The Pretoria High Court earlier ruled in favour of the tobacco ban, and dismissed Fita’s appeal.

‘Wildly inaccurate’ modelling

The Dear South Africa letter to government says the modelling relied upon by government has been shown to be wildly inaccurate and has been abandoned, according to Dear South Africa. The number of recorded Covid-19 deaths has been far lower than expected and currently totals just over 18 000.

The SA Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis (Sacema) abandoned its model soon after it was published, and was replaced by the National Institutes for Communicable Diseases’ ‘Epi Model’ which has not been updated since June. The Epi Model has proven inaccurate when tracked against actual cases. It projected 40 000 deaths by the end of November.

The Actuarial Society of South Africa has also modelled the likely spread of Covid-19. An updated model released in September includes an expanded range of assumptions, which has resulted in projections of between 27 000 and 50 000 deaths by year end.* Pandemics and Data and Analytics (Panda), which updates its model regularly, estimates 20 000 deaths by the end of the year.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently published a paper by world famous epidemiologist John Ioannidis which estimates that the infection fatality rate of the virus is less than 0.2%.

Proposed new ‘control’ regulations

In a separate case, AfriForum announced last week that it will fight Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize’s proposed regulations to supervise and control notifiable diseases in future. These proposed regulations will give far-reaching powers to the minister to combat future diseases perceived as public risks, similar to that applied by government in terms of the Disaster Management Act in response to Covid-19.

There is a growing fear that government has planned to retire the draconian measures of the Disaster Management Act and use health regulations instead to achieve much the same goals (including economic lockdown).

Several organisations are planning to challenge this in court should these new health regulations come into force.

Some of these proposed powers include:

  • Prohibiting travel between provinces or districts;
  • Prohibiting public meetings;
  • Imposition of curfews;
  • Closure of educational institutions; and
  • Placing people under compulsory quarantine by simply publishing a notice in the Government Gazette.

“The disastrous manner in which government handled the Covid-19 pandemic provides ample reason why the state should not have such power over citizens,” says Natasha Venter, campaigns manager at AfriForum.

“It is even worse when so much power is vested in one minister,” she adds.

“AfriForum will oppose the regulations if approved by Cabinet. We cannot afford any future irrational lockdown regulations by government.”

*The original story claimed the Actuarial Society had slashed its Covid-19 death projections to 27 000 when in fact its latest modelling embraces a number of scenarios, with projections of death ranging between 27 000 and 50 000 by year end.

Listen to Nompu Siziba’s interview with Stellenbosch University senior researcher Nic Spaull (or read the transcript here):

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Just consult the taxi industry. Biggest killer industry in SA, but they know everything.

You could also go ask the taxi industry financiers. They also know everything.

Agree the biggest killers in Afrika. Ruanda, Sudan have nothing on the taxi, apart from instant death in horrific circumstances they also spread covid.

What will the dear Doctor do if she can’t stand at a mike bleating like a sheep telling us what we can do?

Only now they think of the law and court???
I am amazed the people actually accept the lock downs(all over the world really).

I depends what you mean with accept. So have you taken a government to court? Or are you living on Mars?

WHO HOLDS THESE UN-ELECTED OFFICIALS RUINING THE COUNTRY ACCOUNTABLE??

..I think they ARE elected officials. That…is the SCARY PART! 😉

Just a sick mess! Or like my friend always says – an abortion gone wrong

100% agree MFK – that is indeed the scary part and possibly even scarier is that it will never change

Would you take advice from a standard 4 pupil on restructuring your automated car manufacturing production line ?

Corona virus was an opportunity for some very small people to exercise great powers way beyond their scope of rationality and or intelligence to the detriment of the very citizens these self serving idiots swore to protect. By June we had enough data to make rational decisions.

The lockdown process however did have at least one success. It proved what many people believed but may have struggled to substantiate. There are people in power devoid of logical thought, rationality and ability to make lucid decisions. We are about to experience ’cause and effect’ and I am afraid they are just not ready for it.

One of the most important lessons to be learned from the lock-down, aside from the power hungry nature of the regime – is how wildly, utterly, completely, totally wrong so-called scientific models (aka guesses) can be.

Keep this in mind, next time some politician tries to extort more taxes from you because of some equally wrong climate guesswork.

The “evidence” is all around us:

Have everyone noticed a lot people around us completely missing of late?

(approaching 19K deaths. That is a factor of 0,00033 (or 0,03%) of our 57mil population.)

HOW LONG will the other 99,97% have to wait?

Covid 19 was nothing more than the annual flu. A mountain was made from a mole hill.

A giant mountain which brought the country to a standstill.

it wasn’t the virus that brought the country to a standstill. It was the thoughtless all size fits one measures that the politicians implemented to stop the spread. And now we are stuck with a permanent state of disaster which a geriatric minister is going to perpetually renew so she and the cabinet are not subject to parliamentary scrutiny. This is far from over.

Interestingly enough the World Health Organisation has recently issued a statement that there is no evidence that lockdowns have curtailed the spread of the pandemic anywhere. But then what do they know!

It definately worked in China! But according to one of our graduates who works there, there’s proper law and order and citizens respect government declarations regarding Covid.

Lockdown restrictions have become a complete farce and is self inflicted economic ruin that will cause many more deaths than saved. Groups such as the Great Barrington Declaration and PANDA in South Africa propose sensible ways to manage corona. The current situation in South Africa reminds me of the pass laws in the 80’s! People need to act quickly to end this madness.

Lockdown has become a complete farce and self inflicted economic ruin by the ANC. The infringement on personal rights reminds me of the pass laws in the 80’s. Groups such as the Great Barrington Declaration and PANDA in South Africa are proposing sensible ways to manage this virus. They also highlight the greater number of lives that will be list because of lockdown.

Nokasana Zuma notably but other ANC bigwigs too should be charged of crimes against humanity for the lock down catastrophe on peoples lives and the other afflictions brought about by this ignorant and egotistical government

Lockdown restrictions have become a complete farce. The self-inflicted economic destruction and loss of lives caused by lockdown makes no sense. Groups such as the Great Barrington Declaration and PANDA in South Africa highlight sensible ways to manage a virus such as corona and highlight the damage caused by lockdown. The loss of personal liberty under the ANC also reminds me of the pass laws in the 80’s!

The ANC has inflicted economic ruin and more than 2mn jobs have been lost due to lockdown. Organisations such as the Great Barrington Declaration provide alternative solutions to managing a virus. The lockdown madness and infringement of personal liberty needs to end before more lives are lost and economic ruin caused.

It is apparent that this lockdown strategy (not a government strong point) has not worked or has been heeded by the masses. In my area people are walking around in shopping centres with their masks pulled down below their mouth, not covering their nose, and all things in between – yet the people who set the rules don’t monitor the outcomes so this whole lock down is a farce and a mere means by government to try and control the population. Can’t wait for the government to justify the spend on this virus

Dr. Margarite Griesz-Brisson MD, PhD is a Consultant Neurologist and Neurophysiologist with a PhD in Pharmacology, with special interest in neurotoxicology, environmental medicine, neuroregeneration and neuroplasticity. This is what she has to say about facemasks and their effects on our brains:
“The reinhalation of our exhaled air will without a doubt create oxygen deficiency and a flooding of carbon dioxide. We know that the human brain is very sensitive to oxygen deprivation. There are nerve cells for example in the hippocampus that can’t be longer than 3 minutes without oxygen – they cannot survive.

The acute warning symptoms are headaches, drowsiness, dizziness, issues in concentration, slowing down of reaction time – reactions of the cognitive system.

However, when you have chronic oxygen deprivation, all of those symptoms disappear, because you get used to it. But your efficiency will remain impaired and the under-supply of oxygen in your brain continues to progress.

We know that neurodegenerative diseases take years to decades to develop. If today you forget your phone number, the breakdown in your brain would have already started 20 or 30 years ago.

While you’re thinking that you have gotten used to wearing your mask and rebreathing your own exhaled air, the degenerative processes in your brain are getting amplified as your oxygen deprivation continues.

The second problem is that the nerve cells in your brain are unable to divide themselves normally. So in case our governments will generously allow as to get rid of the masks and go back to breathing oxygen freely again in a few months, the lost nerve cells will no longer be regenerated. What is gone is gone.

I do not wear a mask, I need my brain to think. I want to have a clear head when I deal with my patients, and not be in a carbon dioxide-induced anaesthesia.

There is no unfounded medical exemption from face masks because oxygen deprivation is dangerous for every single brain. It must be the free decision of every human being whether they want to wear a mask that is absolutely ineffective to protect themselves from a virus.

For children and adolescents, masks are an absolute no-no. Children and adolescents have an extremely active and adaptive immune system and they need a constant interaction with the microbiome of the Earth. Their brain is also incredibly active, as it is has so much to learn. The child’s brain, or the youth’s brain, is thirsting for oxygen. The more metabolically active the organ is, the more oxygen it requires. In children and adolescents every organ is metabolically active.

To deprive a child’s or an adolescent’s brain from oxygen, or to restrict it in any way, is not only dangerous to their health, it is absolutely criminal. Oxygen deficiency inhibits the development of the brain, and the damage that has taken place as a result CANNOT be reversed.

The child needs the brain to learn, and the brain needs oxygen to function. We don’t need a clinical study for that. This is simple, indisputable physiology. Consciously and purposely induced oxygen deficiency is an absolutely deliberate health hazard, and an absolute medical contraindication.

An absolute medical contraindication in medicine means that this drug, this therapy, this method or measure should not be used, and is not allowed to be used. To coerce an entire population to use an absolute medical contraindication by force, there must be definite and serious reasons for this, and the reasons must be presented to competent interdisciplinary and independent bodies to be verified and authorised.

When, in ten years, dementia is going to increase exponentially, and the younger generations couldn’t reach their god-given potential, it won’t help to say “we didn’t need the masks”.

How can a veterinarian, a software distributor, a businessman, an electrical car manufacturer and a physicist decide on matters regarding the health of the entire population? Please, dear colleagues, we all have to wake up.

I know how damaging oxygen deprivation is for the brain, cardiologists know how damaging it is for the heart, pulmonologists know how damaging it is for the lungs. Oxygen deprivation damages every single organ.

Where are our health departments, our health insurance, our medical associations? It would have been their duty to be vehemently against the lockdown and to stop it and stop it from the very beginning.

Why do the medical boards issue punishments to doctors who give people exemptions? Does the person or the doctor seriously have to prove that oxygen deprivation harms people? What kind of medicine are our doctors and medical associations representing?

Who is responsible for this crime? The ones who want to enforce it? The ones who let it happen and play along, or the ones who don’t prevent it?

It’s not about masks, it’s not about viruses, it’s certainly not about your health. It is about much much more. I am not participating. I am not afraid.

You can notice, they are already taking our air to breathe. The imperative of the hour is personal responsibility. We are responsible for what we think, not the media. We are responsible for what we do, not our superiors. We are responsible for our health, not the World Health Organisation. And we are responsible for what happens in our country, not the government.”

Kopdoek and the gang have had oxygen deficiency since infancy

Dear South Africa what evidence do you need? It looks like we have our own SA Trumpsters. Europe is now having its second wave. In the USA, things are really bad and Trump is making sure America is number one… making America great again.

I only see evidence of mass economic destruction and infringement of personal liberty. The death toll from lockdown will far exceed any deaths from corona. South Africa has lost over 2mn jobs – what was the ANC thinking! Each with 3 dependents at minimum.

I’m not disputing the economic impact. Regulations are there to minimise the spread and without them things are going to be worse. We don’t want a situation where majority of South Africans are sick, can you imagine the economic impact.

The death rate from Covid 19 is very small relative to the US population 222k deaths v population of 382 million. The real catastrophe is the lingering effects of the lockdown, which is likely to kill far more than the virus itself.

The USA death rate is extremely high, look at Germany with about 10k deaths vs a population of 83 million. The USA death rate is even higher than a developing country like South Africa. A complete lock down is a disaster but having some regulations that people should wear masks and practice social distancing when out in public is not.

US ‘high’ death rate? In perspective, their 222,000 Covid deaths, is a factor of 0,00067 (or 0,06%) of overall US population of 331 million.

You should consider posting your comment on News 24 websites where the extent of your ignorance will be appreciated.

Khande, I believe approximately 18,000 have died “with” covid, most of them seriously ill or aged. IF the scared and vulnerable stayed at home and the rest got on with their lives then we could have avoided the mass economic destruction that we see today. Many more lives will be lost because of lockdown – some estimates as much as 30 times those dying “with” covid. I encourage you to listen to PANDA and Nick Hudson in South Africa. There is no lockdown that justifies this and will cause a decade of ruin for 6mn plus people. The lockdown is idiocy and madness.

For NDZ, ‘evidence’ is such a Western concept!

The lockdown and its extensions have nothing whatsoever to do with the Corona virus pandemic, but everything to do with dictatorial political power over the electorate and uppity individuals who criticise the NCCC and its enthusiastic supporters.

End of comments.

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