MAILBOX: Political parties and their lack of mandatory vaccination positions

As South Africans are gearing up to vote in Monday’s municipal elections, there appears to be more dubiety than usual weighing on voters in terms of their impending decision. One of the critically important issues that has recently come to the fore is that of mandatory vaccination. The respective mandatory vaccination positions – or apparent lack thereof – adopted by prominent political parties was brought to our attention by BizNews community member David Lipschitz. In this article, Lipschitz, a software engineer and founder of My Power Station, sets out the position adopted by the political party which he supports – the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) – in respect of Covid-19 and mandatory vaccination. In September, the Democratic Alliance (DA) put forth its position on the matter when it stated that the party does not support mandatory vaccination by the government as this “takes away people’s freedom”. While the ANC has not implemented a nationwide mandatory vaccination policy, it is under the ruling party’s leadership and – at least in part – by virtue of its encouragement that businesses have started to enforce mandatory vaccination policies in the workplace. – Nadya Swart

By David Lipschitz*

I’m Jewish and I’ve always voted for ACDP, the African Christian Democratic Party. Their principles are the closest to my principles out of any party.

And I just checked their Covid-19 policy. This is from their 2021 Manifesto:

Ivermectin and the treatment of Covid-19

The ACDP was the only political party to engage the High Court against the Minister of Health and SAHPRA to make Ivermectin available to South Africans as a treatment for Covid-19. The subsequent High Court order granted on 6 April 2021 was a great victory for freedom, for doctors and the people of South Africa, as it allows much broader access to the medicine which has been shown to be a safe, affordable and effective treatment.

Freedom to choose vs forced vaccines

As South Africans, we have a right to privacy, human dignity, healthcare and information. We also have the right to freedom of movement and the right to choose. The ACDP opposes, in the strongest terms, any attempt to force vaccination on anyone or to ignore our Bill of Rights. Your rights extend to the workplace and to places of education. No one should lose their job or education for choosing not to vaccinate. And no minor should be vaccinated at schools without the explicit knowledge and consent of their parents or legal guardian.

Informed consent

Informed consent relates to a person’s right to bodily integrity and autonomy. Our laws provide that before any treatment is administered, a person must first be fully informed before giving consent, and that such consent must be voluntary, not coerced or enticed.

Every person has a right to a choice and to say ‘no’, and therefore must be provided with full and accurate information on the Covid-19 vaccines. This includes information about their proven long-term safety and efficacy profile, as well as any other viable and affordable prophylactic and early treatments for Covid-19. This must be conveyed in a language they understand and in a manner that takes into account their level of literacy to ensure their understanding of the information given; that respects the person’s values and personal belief systems, along with the implications of acting on such information; the nature of the illness; the recovery rate of Covid-19; the reality and long-term efficacy of natural immunity; and the risks and potential side-effects associated with all forms of treatment.

Publicise vaccine ‘adverse events reporting system’ findings

The ACDP is committed to full public transparency and accountability from the government regarding Covid-19 vaccines. As such, we have called for all Adverse Events Reporting Systems to publicise any and all side effects experienced after receiving a vaccination. By making these findings public, South Africans can make a more informed decision over whether or not they choose to vaccinate.

Meanwhile, the DA says ALMOST NOTHING about vaccinations and therefore stands on the fence. We already know its rhetoric in the Western Cape so perhaps nothing needs to be said. Basically, the DA is following the ANC’s lead. The DA only refers to Covid-19 as follows: “The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the crucial role local governments play in achieving health outcomes.” Maybe they should have said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the crucial role local governments play in achieving CENTRAL GOVERNMENT-LED health outcomes?” Note that the DA are also experts at greenwashing and, whilst I would have loved to have voted for them in the past, they missed a huge opportunity to introduce renewable energy between 2009 and 2011.

PS: If you’re registered to vote, please vote, because otherwise you vote for the winner. If everyone who didn’t vote or who spoilt their papers voted for the ACDP, the ADCP would win with a landslide and put South Africa on a values-driven, standards-driven course for future development while eradicating corruption for good. And, of course, morals, principles and ethics are also critical to democracy.

PPS: I deregistered as a voter in 2016, after studying common and constitutional law and I have more rights as a deregistered voter than as a registered voter. We can have a separate discussion about this if you like.

  • David Lipschitz BSc (Honours) MBA
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