Courts to remain open for children's issues and challenges to coronavirus lockdown rules
Cape Town - Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng says South Africa's courts will remain open while the country is on lockdown to deal with legal challenges to the government's measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus, which were announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday, as well as children's issues and other urgent matters.
On Wednesday, a letter from Mogoeng delegating authority to the heads of Superior courts as well as magistrates and lower courts to deal with matters relating to bail applications, maintenance and domestic violence cases and cases involving children was widely distributed on social media.
The letter further states that the courts must remain open in the event that there is a challenge to the regulations promulgated when President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national state of emergency.
Last Tuesday Mogoeng briefed the media on the measures the judiciary will be taking to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus which has infected more than 60 South Africans and more than 170 000 people worldwide, said it would be "myopic" to shut down the country's courts while "we don't know how long this will last".
He did, however, announce a number of stringent hygiene measures that will be put in place in courts, including:
* sterilising courtrooms twice a day;
* measuring the temperatures of persons entering the court buildings;
* sanitising hands of everyone entering and exiting court buildings;
* install sanitisers at work stations and in corridors of court buildings.