Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu Picture: GCIS
Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu Picture: GCIS

Government to appeal High Court judgment which declared lockdown regulations unconstitutional

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Jun 4, 2020

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The government will appeal the North Gauteng High Court judgment which declared certain lockdown regulations irrational and unconstitutional. 

Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu said the cabinet had decided to appeal the judgment following a virtual cabinet meeting on Thursday morning. 

Mthembu said the government believes the decisions taken and the regulations declared under the National Disaster Act were lawful and rational to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus and to save lives. 

“We are very confident that what we did, the articulation of levels was crafted to save lives,” Mthembu said. 

The judgment, the first to challenge the regulations governing the country's lockdown, was handed down on Monday. It was an urgent matter brought by an organisation called the Liberty Fighters Network. 

It found that some of the regulations were irrational and unlawful, with the High Court in Pretoria, ordering the government to amend the regulations within 14 days. 

Mthembu said the government had consulted legal experts on the matter and believed that a different court would come to a different decision. 

He said the judgment would be appealed at the same court, but he did not rule out the possibility of approaching the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court. 

The government’s appeal application will be heard on an urgent basis and will be appealed by Cogta Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and President Cyril Ramaphosa. 

Mthembu stressed that while the appeal was under way, level 3 regulations should be observed. He said people should wear masks and wash their hands, while screening and testing for the coronavirus would continue. 

Mthembu said the cabinet had also approved the extension of the declaration of the state of national disaster, which expires on June 15. 
It will be extended for a month until July 15. The first declaration lasted for three months and can be lawfully extended by a month. 

The cabinet was also concerned about the high spread of the coronavirus in the Western Cape. 

The province accounts for over 60% of the country’s cases. Ramaphosa, along with Dlamini Zuma, Health Minister Zweli Mkhzie and Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa Nqakula and Minister of Police Bheki Cele will visit the province on Friday.  

They will meet Western Cape Premier Alan Winde and his executive. 

Political Bureau

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