Shadow minister slams South Africa’s ‘authoritarian’ lockdown laws
Have some aspects of SA’s lockdown gone too far? Dean Macpherson seems to think so, suggesting that many peope have ‘forgotten our history’.
Dean Macpherson, an elected MP and DA shadow minister, has hit out at the way government is pursuing their newly established lockdown laws. The frustration comes after numerous stores reported that they weren’t selling certain hot foods, and complained of having to ‘sit on their stock’.
As prescribed by the National Disaster Act, South African shops are only allowed to sell ‘essential items’. The government have failed to clearly explain what this entails, leading to nationwide confusion. Macpherson himself rallied again the ban on hairbrushes and gardening equipment on Saturday.
Lockdown laws in South Africa – how much is too much?
But it would be another Tweet – which followed an official statement from his office – That turned heads. The DA’s trade and industry official said that SA was sliding towards an ‘authoritarian system’, and lamented the ANC for what he sees as a failure to ‘learn from our history’, referencing the cruel regime of apartheid.
“What the lockdown has shown is that are probably large numbers of people in South Africa who have no problem living under an authoritarian system where they are told what they can and can’t buy and when they can and can’t go out. It’s like we’ve learnt nothing from our history.”
“It is illogical and makes no sense for instance that a store at a petrol station is not allowed to sell pies or that a grocery store is not allowed to sell prepared, warm food. We have seen even more ridiculous examples of this in this week of lockdown such as retail stores closing their magazines and snacks shelves and mothers of newborn babies not being able to buy clothes for their babies.”
Ministers flip-flop on rules
The reaction has been vociferous, with some accusing Macpherson of misreading the situation. However, the politician has stuck to his guns on Sunday, taking aim at Bheki Cele instead. The police minister has hinted he’d like to keep alcohol prohibition in place after lockdown – much to the chagrin of the DA: