Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize. File picture: AP/Themba Hadebe
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize. File picture: AP/Themba Hadebe

Court orders health minister to free citizens from quarantine site in Mpumalanga

By Baldwin Ndaba Time of article published May 6, 2020

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Pretoria - The South African government and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize have been ordered to free more than 100 people kept at one of the quarantine facilities in Mpumalanga with immediate effect.

The ruling was made in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria following an application lodged by AfriForum who acted on behalf of 107 people who are originally from Gauteng.

The 107 people had been kept at the site since their arrival in the country from Mozambique on April 27 and the government allegedly kept them there for eight days without Covid-19 tests conducted on them.

They were eventually tested for Covid-19 two days ago, on May 4 – eight days after being kept at Zithabiseni Resort in Groblersdal in Mpumalanga.

Detailing his ruling, Judge Fabricius said: “That those who tested negative be allowed to self-isolate at their homes until the expiry of 14 days from date of repatriation. Dr Mkhize is to disclose to AfriForum’s legal representative and make available an alternative quarantine facility fit for human habitation and safety which complies with World Health Organisation standards."

"That those who tested positive for the coronavirus and/or Covid-19 infection be allowed to self-isolate, alternatively if it is not possible for such persons to self-isolate, that such persons be removed from Zithabiseni quarantine facility at Groblersdal to a quarantine facility fit for human habitation.”

Mkhize has until May 18 to appeal the ruling.

Political Bureau

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