A thornier issue is who gets access to the president? Given that these people are not elected representatives, what gives them the status to meet behind closed doors to convince him to take decisions that affect the public and body politic?
The national command council has misapprehended the national state of disaster and lockdown to mean a suspension of the democratic practice of open public debate and consultation.
The most appropriate platform for public involvement is parliament and legislatures whose mandate it is to enable public participation.
We need to be wary of the power of lobbies in policy-making who use their influence to push sectional interests, using the lockdown as a cover.
During the fifth administration led by former president Jacob Zuma, private lobbies pushed their agendas under the guise of promoting radical economic transformation and this was the path to state capture.
Transparency is not a burden but a safeguard both for the public and for the executive. When issues are aired publicly, it creates the conditions for the cultivation of public trust in the government's decisions.
Ramaphosa's reluctance to substantiate decisions, to have stakeholders put their arguments forward in public forums and to give MPs an opportunity to debate and vote on policy - given that they were elected to do just that - is undermining democracy.
It is also eroding public trust and adding to the high levels of frustration and anxiety that are the result of the uncertainty brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.
As the economic situation is slowly being normalised, it is time to return to the normal practice of law as provided in the constitution.
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