EFF threatens court action unless the country’s ‘political space’ is reopened

The EFF on Sunday threatened to take the government to court unless the country's "political space" was reopened.
The EFF on Sunday threatened to take the government to court unless the country's "political space" was reopened.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER/ SUNDAY TIMES

The EFF on Sunday threatened to take the government to court unless the country's “political space” was reopened.

In a statement on Sunday, the EFF said this reopening would allow all political parties to hold political gatherings, and physically attend municipal council, provincial legislature and parliamentary meetings and events — but only in “strict compliance to the necessary health protocols to avoid the spread of coronavirus”.

“It is now almost 12 months since SA political spaces have been restricted while government officials continue to engage in programmes that necessitate closer oversight and scrutiny. Many workplaces in SA, including huge factories and mines, are presently reopened ... It is irrational to continue shutting down the political space. We therefore demand that all political spaces be reopened so that we can engage in programmes and activities that will hold government accountable,” the party said.

The statement continued that, if this wasn't done, the party would consider going to court.

“We will write to the state president [Cyril Ramaphosa] to demand the immediate reopening of the political space ... Refusal to do so will necessitate that we take additional steps including approaching the courts to challenge the constitutionality of closing the political space while many people are gathering in workplaces, malls, restaurants and [at] religious gatherings.

“We will do so because denying people the right to democratically challenge the sitting government is an affront to the constitution and democratic order,” the statement read.

The EFF also said that it was important to allow political gatherings, with the country likely to hold local government elections before the end of November this year.

“To disallow political programmes and activities is therefore undemocratic and irrational, because political parties are not allowed to prepare for elections freely and fairly. Denying political parties to freely campaign for elections is unconstitutional and violates the essence of a democratic order,” the EFF said.

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