Health minister Joe Phaahla accused of anti-democratic conduct.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla has been charged with anti-democratic behavior in a public consultation process on regulatory amendments to the Health Act.

Department officials alleged so-called organizations AfriFóram and Dear South Africa terrorists and saboteurs inciting chaos against the state and wasting its resources. This was how the lobby groups made submissions on the amendments.

“The email went even further by labeling the organizations that opposed the regulatory reforms (including AfriForum and DearSA) as ‘terrorists’ and ‘saboteurs’ who are ‘inciting chaos against the state’ and ‘wasting’ their resources, ”DearSA CEO Gideon Joubert said in a statement.

Also of concern, according to DearSA, was the Department of Health’s internal communications recommending that up to approximately 300,000 comments from the public be “generic”.

Dear South Africa has since expressed great concern about an emerging trend in which government departments and officials are undermining the public participation process or treating it with empathy.

During AfriForum and DearSA court proceedings against Paahla over regulatory amendments to the Health Act, the organization said they had discovered its intention to implement the new regulations.

Joubert said the Department of Health only allowed the public a 30 – day truncated traffic period to tick the necessary public participation boxes before proceeding.

He said that significant public pressure had forced the Minister to extend the commentary period to a full three months, but that his failure to do so from the outset was regrettable.

Joubert further said that in order to intimidate the applicants, Phaahla threatened to pursue costs against DearSA and AfriForum if they refused to withdraw their application.

Department of Health spokeswoman Foster Mohale has not yet responded to a request for comment.

“This threat is legally unfounded and wholly inappropriate for the state organ. It is unequal to use government resources to defend the Minister’s decision from judicial scrutiny, ”he said.

Joubert noted that the misuse of state resources to silence public input and to protect government officials from accountability was not isolated or uncommon.

He said this week’s incident was another example of such shameful behavior when police minister Bheki Cele used members of the U.S. Police Service to remove Ian Cameron of Action Society, a non-profit organization. Gugulethu community meeting.

Joubert pointed out that the Constitution not only mandates public participation in its governance but also protects it.

He lamented that the actions of government officials undermining public participation undermine and damage U.S. democratic processes.

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Health minister Joe Phaahla accused of anti-democratic conduct. Source link Health minister Joe Phaahla accused of anti-democratic conduct.

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