THE WESTERN High Court has ordered the Social Development Department Minister Lindiwe Zulu not to prevent people from distributing and receiving food over the next month.
The court ordered Zulu to bring this to the attention of social development officials in her department and MECs in all of the provinces.
The case against Zulu was postponed in the Western Cape High Court on Friday, and the full legal challenge will now be heard on the 19th of June.
DA MP James Lorimer said this means that for the next four weeks food distribution by NGOs can continue as normal before the matter finally comes to court.
“The DA brought the case after draft regulations started being enforced 3 weeks ago. These regulations shut down soup kitchens and placed stiff regulations on the distribution of food parcels. This stopped food reaching thousands of hungry people as food relief NGO’s were threatened with arrest if they did not stop. We believe thousands of people have suffered hunger and malnutrition because of this,” said Lorimer
“Minister Zulu defended the regulations, saying relief needed to be coordinated. This is clearly delusional as her department cannot even properly perform its current function, let alone instantly build a proper distribution network to millions of people.”
The Commissioner of police has also been ordered to bring this order to the attention of all police officials.
The court also ordered that government cannot be allowed to prevent people from exercising their existing rights to distribute and receive food.
DA federal chairperson Helen Zille advised people running NGOs for the needy to keep a copy of the order on them.
(Compiled bu Inside Politics staff)