The Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) has commended President Cyril Ramaphosa for the possible shift to level three lockdown for parts of the country at the end of May, after acknowledging that mistakes were made in the initial enforcement of the lockdown.

However, it was stated that what was of paramount importance, as they prepare to move from level four to level three, was for everyone to remember the objective and that the implementation of temporary measures was aimed at curbing the spread of the virus. ‘Those who have power entrusted to them must exercise it responsibly and with unswerving respect for the principles of our constitution, human rights, and the right to human dignity’, they said.

The Foundation is concerned about the paternalistic nature of many of the regulations, the lack of justification, transparency, and accountability as well as the numerous reports of law enforcement officials humiliating, torturing, assaulting and even killing people in the country. They noted, ‘When we allow these to go unchallenged, we invite them to become the norm. Public buy-in is necessary for a public health campaign such as this and the more people are pushed into rejecting this norm, the quicker they will reject the lockdown’.

‘The overriding objective of the lockdown at all its levels is the protection of life. We call on those who are regulating the progressive relaxation of the lockdown and those who are enforcing it to remember this objective. Lastly, may we always be mindful that the right to dignity is unqualified in our constitution’, they added.

Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation

Photo source: GovernmentZA

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