Johannesburg – The South African National Christian Forum (SANCF) has approached the Constitutional Court to urgently interdict the government from declaring the Covid-19 vaccination mandatory.
The SANCF filed papers in the apex court citing President Cyril Ramaphosa and cabinet ministers as respondents.
The group is seeking an urgent interdisciplinary order against the mandatory Covid-19 vaccination, claiming it raises a threat to South Africa’s constitutional democracy and the Bill of Rights.
They have also asked the court to interdict the government from depriving or limiting access or benefits to un-vaccinated citizens.
“Christians are now forced to take a Covid-19 vaccination against their religious beliefs as they are told that government is preparing a Covid-19 passport, and without it, they won’t be allowed to go to church. This is further discrimination and creates a stigma to those who choose not to vaccinate,” the SANCF said in an affidavit.
In their court papers, SANCF wants the government to protect the constitutional rights of all South Africans regardless of the decision to take or not take the vaccine.
The matter is expected to be heard next week.
In an accompanying affidavit, the leader of the SANCF Pastor Marothi Josias Mashashane said that should this matter be rejected by the court, “the entire democracy would be at stake”.
He said they would argue that it would be illegal for an employer to make vaccinations compulsory without considering the individual’s Constitutional rights, such as bodily integrity.
“The applicant will argue that although vaccinations globally has been mentioned as a major role player in the fight against the virus, this does not mean there is or there would not be any possible alternatives,” his affidavit read.
He added that their case was not about a “for or against the vaccine” debate, but about the freedom to choose.
“The applicant is of the view that the government under [Ramaphosa’s] leadership should educate and influence people into taking informed decision for their safety and that of the others, but regulations that restrict peoples’ rights can in no way be supported.
“The applicant is of the view that leadership is an influence and integrity for people to believe in the leader having the best interest of his or her followers in making any decision, unlike dictatorship, a real leader allows people to make choices without undue duress or fear,” Mashashane said.