The Democratic Alliance (DA) has approached the High Court in Pretoria to challenge the decision to close public schools for four weeks in August.

THE DA wants the Pretoria High Court to order that the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that public schools close has no legal effect in the absence of gazetted regulations.

If the court does not agree with its argument, the party wants the decision reviewed, set aside and declared unlawful.

This is because neither the President nor Cabinet, have the legal powers to close schools, the DA said on Wednesday.

“The truth is that the word of the President is not law, the law is the law,” said the party, adding that the announcement that public schools would close for the duration of four weeks has not yet been published in the Government Gazette.

“The DA is therefore of the view that the announcement has no legal effect and that schools should therefore technically not have closed as there is no legal requirement for them to do so. Gazetted regulations contain carefully described powers, rights and obligations. They also clearly specify which regulations or directions they repeal or amend. In contrast, an announcement, such as the President’s is not aimed at describing rights, obligations and powers – it is usually a political document aimed at justifying a position or influencing public opinion. South Africa is a Constitutional Democracy and not an authoritarian state.”

(Compiled by Inside Politics staff)

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