POLITICAL NEWS - The DA said in a statement on Saturday that they had to upgrade the capacity of their online donations system after the “overwhelming” response from South Africans trying to give them money in the fight against the lockdown regulations caused it to crash.
DA federal chairperson Helen Zille said the party was “heartened by the many South Africans who are contributing whatever they can towards our legal challenges against irrational and unconstitutional aspects of the current hard lockdown”.
DA leader John Steenhuisen had announced on Thursday that the party would seek legal remedy through the courts on “irrational measures such as the e-commerce ban (which was dropped within hours of the DA’s court challenge), the three-hour exercise window and the military-enforced curfew”.
“Furthermore, we are also challenging the constitutionality of aspects of the Disaster Management Act that concentrate massive law-making powers in the hands of Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the minister of co-operative governance, without any oversight from parliament, and enable her to delegate such powers to other ministers, who are equally unaccountable. They can extend this power indefinitely,” added Zille.
She pointed out that already in the past seven weeks, they had issued over 40 sets of regulations, comprising hundreds of pages of new legislation, governing almost every aspect of South Africans’ lives, “from when we may leave our homes and for what purpose, who we may visit, when and where we may exercise, what we may buy and what we may wear – to name a few”.
She said this “violation of fundamental rights requires increased and rigorous oversight, not less”.
Zille argued that turning “an unaccountable group of ministers into a law-making machine” was also a violation of the separation of powers. (Laws are normally drafted through processes in parliament).
“It was for these reasons that we asked South Africans to assist in funding our cases, even with small amounts, and the response was so overwhelming that it overloaded our online donations system. We have since increased capacity on our site to accommodate increased web traffic to our online donations portal for anyone who wishes to donate.”
Zille said the response would “go some way to funding our legal challenges as we continue to fight for a smart lockdown model that limits the spread of Covid while simultaneously protecting livelihoods, preventing hunger and getting South Africans back to work safely”.