Freedom marchers call for end to state of disaster

Worldwide Demonstration001

In Gqeberha on Saturday, Despatch residents Danie and Nelri Dorfling held hands and marched together to the city hall against what they believed was tyranny and infringement of civil liberties by government.

The couple were part of a motley crowd of young and old, back and white standing together against forced vaccinations and the recently extended state of disaster.

They marched from Cawood Street in North End along Govan Mbeki Avenue to Vuyisele Mini Square carrying placards reading “Stop mandates”, Don’t jab our children” and “Our constitution guarantees our freedom and human rights”.

They were participating in the Gqeberha leg of a global freedom march, which was scheduled to happen simultaneously in 180 countries around the world.

The Gqeberha event was organised by Worldwide Demonstration for Freedom in partnership with Free the Children — Save the Nation, the African Christian Democratic Movement and Freedom Alliance South Africa.

The Dorflings said they were small business owners from Despatch and Nelri said their operations were hit hard during the stringent Covid-19 lockdowns.

“We could not operate the way we were before. The lockdowns really affected us. But how many other businesses were so badly affected they had to close down?”

She said she believed moreover that the freedom of speech of citizens was being taken away.
“Why is someone else telling me what I am allowed to say or not say. If we do not fight for our freedoms today, a lot will be taken from us as South Africans.”

Danie added: “Not a lot of people are even aware that their freedoms are being taken away. They just trust whatever the government says.

“If it was really about health why did they not do anything about TB, HIV and all those sicknesses? Why all of a sudden are we being forced to take vaccines?”

Dr Nomangesi “Pinky” Ncakane said she was marching because mandatory vaccination had been introduced at a private hospital she worked for.

“I have a right to my bodily integrity. I have a right to what happens to my heart, womb and brain.”

“It is not like people are just going to poke something. Am I going to get cancer, a heart attack or kidney failure? It is fair to even consider vaccinating children who are not affected by the condition? This is a vaccine that is experimental at best,” the doctor added.

A memorandum of these and other concerns was handed over to African Christian Democratic Party councillor Lance Grootboom — who also participated in the march — and he said he would hand it over to the mayor.

Other concerns listed included failure by the Constitutional Court and human rights organisations to resist mandates, the threat of “social discrimination” through digital information documents and social scores, and a state of disaster akin to the apartheid government’s national state of emergency.

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The march seeks to celebrate our constitutional freedoms while highlighting the need to limit government overreach to ensure civil liberties are respected. This comes as SA observes #HumanRightsDay on Monday.

World Wide Demonstration organiser Alain Walljee said they wanted the national state of disaster to be scrapped.

“No more extensions.
“The country right now is being run under the National Disaster Act which is being managed from the office of the minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs [Cogta]. It means our president is not in charge but the minister of Cogta. Who elected the minister of Cogta?”

He said South Africans had been living under the national state of disaster for two years, and it was enough.

“We are now saying it is time for our executive to come back to power. We want to have a say in the laws that are being promulgated in our country. Our elected president has failed us.”

He said the forced vaccinations were a betrayal by President Cyril Ramaphosa who had assured the nation last year mandatory vaccinations would never be introduced.