Cape Town - Despite the country moving to level 2 of the lockdown, the Southern African Agri Initiative (Saai) will proceed with its legal case against Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma
According to Saai, Dlamini Zuma’s legal representatives on Sunday asked that they withdraw the case following President Cyril Ramaphosa's national address on Saturday.
Chief executive Francois Rossouw said: “To Saai, it was of cardinal importance to have the wording of the level 2 regulations studied by its legal team before making any decision.
"On Monday, the minister shocked the country by annulling level 3 in its entirety. This means that she cannot, as she had done previously and as was generally feared, return to level 3 regulations, except if a system for level 3 is again promulgated.
"In the switch from level 5 to level 4, and from level 4 to level 3, the regulations were simply amended without annulling the previous level.
“Therefore, the minister’s action is in direct contrast with the government’s policy to have levels of regulation in place and that upward or downward movement between levels is possible.”
Rossouw said Saai have decided to postpone its application against Dlamini Zuma without any date established.
Acting Deputy Judge President Sulet Potterill on Friday decided to postpone Saai’s urgent application to save as many as 240 wine estates and 21 000 jobs. The matter will be heard on August 24.
“We view this drastic action as a cowardly effort to escape the spotlight of the courts on the rationality of (Dlamini Zuma's) excessively restrictive measures, especially seen against the background of growing public resistance, increasingly critical reporting in the media, and especially the devastating effect this has had on job opportunities, businesses, state revenue and the economy," Rossouw said.
"It is an admission of a blunder that will be haunting South Africa for generations."
Dlamini Zuma is also in a litigation with the tobacco industry. Recently, the Supreme Court of Appeal granted the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association leave to appeal a ruling.
Chairperson Sinenhlanhla Mnguni said: “As things currently stand we are continuing with the litigation ... we are more than welcome to discuss this with the minister.”