/ 1 December 2022

Court orders Dlamini-Zuma to disclose records leading to Covid-19 regulations

Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson Of The African Union
Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma is now a minister in the presidency responsible for youth, women and people with disabilities. (Photo by Luiz Rampelotto/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma must, by 9 December, disclose records of the government’s decision-making processes on the lockdown regulations imposed during the Covid-19 state of disaster, a court has ordered.

The Pretoria high court ruled in favour of business organisation Sakeliga, which sought the records of the discussions that resulted in the 750-day state of disaster. Acting Judge Muvhango Lukhaimane ordered that all reasons, reports, findings, deliberations, communications, memoranda and further documentation must be disclosed.

Should Dlamini-Zuma fail to adhere to the court order, Sakeliga will consider proceeding with an application of contempt of court against the minister.

“The court victory concludes a two-year litigation battle, and the records Dlamini-Zuma must now produce relate to decision-making processes followed in 2020 to place the country under lockdown and make the erratic extensions thereof,” Sakeliga said in a statement this week.  

It hoped that the public “will use records produced in our court victory as an impetus and grounding to hold the government to account for harmful decisions of the past and to prevent such egregious abuses of power re-occurring in the future”.

Sakeliga said the lockdowns, which were lifted on 5 April this year, had done “unprecedented harm to economic and social activity”. 

Should the minister claim the records she has been ordered to provide do not exist, it would “confirm suspicions that improper and arbitrary decision-making processes were followed in making Covid regulations”, Sakeliga added.

“It would mean that the government must and can now be called to account for gravely irresponsible actions,” it said.