Lockdown to be challenged in court

Restrictions ‘draconian’

23 August 2020 | Justice

Metcalfe Beukes Attorneys, “Should any further draconian regulations be imposed on Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis after 29 August 2020, our client will approach the High Court of Namibia…”

Walvis Bay • [email protected]

Metcalfe Beukes Attorneys are ready to drag government and the ministry of health and social services in particular, to court about the Covid-19 lockdown imposed on Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis.

Metcalfe is acting on behalf of their client Metrotech Calibration Services, it emerged on Friday in a letter addressed to the minister of health and social services, Dr Kalumbi Shangula.

According to the letter, it has been almost five months since Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis have been in lockdown with draconian Covid-19 regulations being applied that restrict constitutional rights to freedom of movement, freedom of association, freedom to be employed, freedom of association and the right to education.

Moreover, stigma and discrimination surround residents of these three towns as a result of legislation which has unfairly targeted Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis. Metcalfe also stated that the economy of Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis have been totally demolished as a result of the five-month lockdown.

“Our instructions are that should any further draconian regulations be imposed on Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis after 29 August 2020, our client will approach the High Court of Namibia for relief from what appears to be an unnecessary, oppressive, economically destructive abuse of human rights inflicted by Covid-19 regulations, specifically applicable to the three towns.”

The lawyer said that because of the lockdown, about 90% of the tourism businesses and accommodation establishments, restaurants and coffee shops had to close down. “Such closures have seen the extermination of employment opportunities in these affected areas. All three towns are but shadows of their former vibrant selves with starvation, begging and crime being the ultimate consequence.”

Economic destruction

The attorney pointed out that a specialist in disease management in Namibia, Dr Kwasi Yeboath, is on public record as having advised that the introduced measures implemented to combat Covid-19 are impossible to implement in the country.

“Yet such measures are now implemented in Windhoek, Rehoboth and Okahandja, where the promulgated regulations have already destroyed the economy of the industrial heartbeat of Namibia in Walvis Bay.”

Metcalfe added that the dreaded pandemic appears to be on course to completely drown the economy.

“HIV/Aids is estimated to have caused 3 052 deaths in Namibia in 2020 [so far] and remains set to be the number one cause of death in our country. Why is this leading cause of death not receiving the attention that the Covid-19 pandemic has received and or the ridiculous amounts of money and attention spent on Covid-19?”

The attorney said that it is obvious to even the obtuse that where multiple and concentrated Covid-19 are conducted infections will obviously be found.

“What is further disturbing to our client is that death certificates are issued by attending physicians stating that cause of death was due to causes such as heart failure, myocardial infarction and cancer. When the cadaver is sent to the mortuary, such death certificate is changed to provide Covid-19 as the cause of death.”

According to the attorney, this chicanery causes further trauma to the bereaved families of the deceased in that such families are stigmatised by other community members and in some instances self-quarantine is imposed on the relatives of the deceased.

‘False statistics’

“False statistics appear to be generated for some ulterior purpose to artificially increase the morbidity rate alleged to be cause by Covid-19.”

The letter further states that the “ridiculous curfew imposed just adds salt to the deep wound inflicted by Covid-19 regulations without any logic in law and or reason where there is no civil unrest.

“Children suffer from the elimination of their right to education. Our client is not the only business entity and or citizen residing in the Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis local authority areas who will institute such litigation.”

Residents of Walvis Bay and Swakopmund have hosted numerous protests against the lockdown, citing the unfairness when it comes to Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis.

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