President would have to describe grounds, get approval for state of emergency

It's reported President Jacob Zuma's office has started composing regulations for a state of emergency the first time in 20 years.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Experts say the Presidency will have to describe the grounds for a state of emergency before it is published and reaches the National Assembly for approval.

The _Rapport _newspaper is reporting that President Jacob Zuma's office has started composing regulations for a state of emergency for the first time in 20 years.

The Constitution allows the president to declare a state of emergency when the nation's safety is threatened.

The Presidency has rejected these reports, saying President Zuma has not appointed a team to draw up such regulations.

However, University of Cape Town lecturer Khomotso Moshikaro says there's a process that has to happen if the president does intend to declare a state of emergency.

“Those regulations must describe the grounds that justify why a state of emergency is necessary and those regulations would have to describe how this specific state of emergency would work to restore peace and public order.”

Director of the Centre for Constitutional Rights Phephelaphi Dube says the regulations would also have to be published.

“And there afterwards the president then has to go through the National Assembly and it would give the public a window to make some kind of comment.”