Parly argues Suzman Foundation failed to explain need for new COVID legislation

The Gauteng Division of the High Court has on Thursday heard an urgent application seeking an order directing Parliament to pass special legislation for management of COVID-19 in South Africa.

FILE: Representing the Speaker, Advocate Vincent Maleka has told the court the Helen Suzman Foundation has failed to even define how the new legislation will look. Picture: YouTube screengrab

CAPE TOWN – Parliament says the Helen Suzman Foundation failed to provide an explanation on why new legislation on COVID-19 must be introduced.

The Gauteng Division of the High Court has on Thursday heard an urgent application seeking an order directing Parliament to pass special legislation for management of COVID-19 in South Africa.

But Parliament’s legal team argues there’s absolutely no basis for such legislation.

The first respondent in the case is Speaker Thandi Modise with President Cyril Ramaphosa and his entire cabinet the second and third respondents.

Representing the Speaker, Advocate Vincent Maleka has told the court the Helen Suzman Foundation has failed to even define how the new legislation will look.

This despite the applicant not challenging the actual Disaster Management Act.

“The applicant seeks promulgation of specific legislation in response to COVID-19, but they don’t tell you how this legislation would look like – in order to address the perceived problems that they complain about without identifying them specifically.”

Maleka said the foundation must also be hit with a costs order for wasting the court’s time.

“We would submit that this is an appropriate case where you should order the applicant to pay cost. The applicant has engaged in litigation which is not helpful to this court; not even to the speaker; because it is unfounded litigation that is not founded on any evidence.”