National News /02 June 2020, 18:56pm / Nthabiseng Mokoena
Court declared Lockdown regulations invalid: image google
Bloemfontein: With the high court nullifying the government’s level 4 and 3 lockdown regulations it is not yet known if the country will move back to initial lockdown which started on the 26 March.
The illegal level 3 remain in place for at least the next 14 days while the President decides what to do.
Government’s communications Phumla Williams on Tuesday said the Government has noted the judgment by the Gauteng High Court declaring the Alert Level 4 and Alert Level 3 Lockdown regulations unconstitutional and invalid.
Judge Norman Davis ruled in favour of Liberty Fighters Network, the Hola Bona Renaissance Foundation and attorney Reyno de Beer, after the group launched an urgent court challenge to the regulations.
Judge Davis found that “little or in fact no regard was given to the extent of the impact of individual regulations on the constitutional rights of people and whether the extent of the limitation of their rights was justifiable or not”.
“The starting point was not ‘How can we as government limit constitutional rights in the least possible fashion whilst still protecting the inhabitants of South Africa?’ but rather ‘We will seek to achieve our goal by whatever means, irrespective of the costs, and we will determine, albeit incrementally, which constitutional rights you as the people of South Africa, may exercise,’” he said.
The judge identified a number of instances of irrationality in the regulations.
“The examples are too numerous to mention,” he said. “One need only to think of the irrationality in being allowed to buy a jersey but not undergarments or open-toed shoes and the criminalisation of many of the regulatory measures.”
“The cautionary regulations relating to education, prohibitions against evictions, initiation practices and the closures of night clubs and fitness centres, for example, as well as the closure of borders all appear to be rationally connected to the stated objectives,” Davis said.
The court declared the Command Council Levels lockdown as invalid and gave government 14 days to come up with legal action.
Court has also directed Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, in consultation with the relevant ministers, to review, amend and republish the regulations with due consideration to the limitation each regulation has on the rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.
According to law expert at this moment the country awaits President Cyri Ramaphosa, to announce the decision that either government is going to accept that Judge Davis is right and they are going to rectify the regulations and make them rational or take the judgment on appeal.