- One South Africa leader Mmusi Maimane believes that the academic year should be sacrificed on the altar of public health and safety
- He believes that the risk to children, staff and others is too high and the schools should be closed
- Maimane is making another appeal to the Constitutional Court to close schools until it can be proven that it is safe to open
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One South Africa leader Mmusi Maimane thinks it is better to sacrifice the academic year and save lives.
The One South Africa movement has appealed against a judgement by the North Gauteng High Court which set aside Maimane's application to prevent schools from reopening.
Briefly.co.za learned that this is the second time he has approached the Constitutional Court after his previous attempt was dismissed.
This time he has filed an urgent appeal directly to the Constitutional Court and wants to use new evidence to support his position that schools should remain closed to protect children, staff and others.
“The applicants only requested that schools should remain closed until the safety of children, teachers and others could be demonstrably safeguarded.
“If needs be, the academic year could be lost as a better alternative to losing lives unnecessarily. Many people have lost an academic year before. It is not as irreversible as death,” said Maimane.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and basic education minister Angie Motshekga have been cited in the appeal according to Times Live.
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“It is, with respect, no exaggeration to rank this as arguably the most urgent application which has ever served before our courts. The respondents themselves put the SA population at 57.7 million.
“This application affects state conduct and decisions which affect lives, dignity, health and education. It is also about the important values of accountability and the rule of law. More particularly, the court has an extra duty to safeguard the lives and welfare of children in their own right and not as appendages of their adult parents and/or teachers,” said Maimane.
Maimane's new application proposes that the government has not proven that schools are safe to open yet based upon its risk-adjusted strategy for Covid-19.
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“To illustrate this point, I draw from the statistics contained in the pleadings, as updated by the latest statistics which form part of the new evidence referred to below.
“Suffice to state that so exponential has been the growth that when this application was initially brought before this honourable court for direct access at the end of May 2020, the confirmed infected cases were 25,937 and cumulative deaths were 552. Today, the corresponding figures are 298,292 infections and 4,346 deaths,” said Maimane.
Briefly.co.za had earlier reported that the recommended isolation period for Covid-19 patients has been reduced to 10 days. Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates on the pandemic in SA.
In other news, Briefly.co.za reported that Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi has tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday.
In a statement issued by the government on the situation, it was revealed that the minister has had a number of close calls with the virus:
"This was the Minister’s 4th round of tests to be conducted since the outbreak of the virus, and the first to return positive. Minister Nxesi is in self-isolation and will continue to work from home. All members of the office of the Minister, who have come in contact with him will also undergo testing."
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