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DA wants urgent legal opinion from Parliament on NHI Bill's constitutionality

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said the party had issues with the legislation's constitutionality but wanted a legal opinion before challenging it legally.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane. Picture: @Our_DA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) said it wanted an urgent legal opinion from Parliament to check whether the controversial National Health Insurance Bill was constitutional.

Last week, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize submitted the bill to Parliament, where the legislation was expected to be hotly debated by MPs before it was adopted.

But DA leader Mmusi Maimane said on Tuesday that their opposition to the bill would continue when it came before the Health portfolio committee.

Maimane said the party had issues with the legislation's constitutionality but wanted a legal opinion before challenging it legally.

He said the issue was not just limited to healthcare and that there had also been an “intensified” assault on individual rights.

"We cannot be passing laws in Parliament that will not pass constitutional muster. That's why I've written this specific letter to Thandi Modise as we begin the internal remedy process. She will resort back to us about whether or not, in her legal opinion, this matter passes constitutional muster [sic]."