The government has overridden or only partially implemented much of the counsel it received from its scientific advisers, most notably on alcohol sales and school closures, despite President Cyril Ramaphosa’s insistence that their recommendations underpin its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The health department has released more than two dozen Covid-19 advisories provided by scientists to health minister Zweli Mkhize over the past five months, revealing how the government has at key moments overridden their counsel and bowed to other interests...

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