Foundation challenges government's 21-day coronavirus lockdown at ConCourt
Pretoria – Justice Minister Ronald Lamola on Saturday said his department will oppose the Constitutional Court challenge launched by an undisclosed foundation which is against the 21-day lockdown which is part of the declaration of the national state of disaster announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in a bid to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).
“There is a foundation that has taken us to the ConCourt (Constitutional Court) directly, and we are awaiting directives from the ConCourt. The position we have taken is that we will oppose the papers and the application because we have followed the law in this process,” Lamola said in Pretoria.
“That can be tested by the court, and the reality is that we are dealing with a novel complex matter which in terms of the regulatory frameworks, in terms of the common law and legal prescripts we are entering uncharted territories which from time to time we need check with practicing lawyers in terms of the routes that we are taking to ensure that everything is done within the prescripts of the law.”
Ramaphosa announced the national lockdown as South Africa experienced a surge in the Covid-19 outbreak. The police and the South African National Defence Force have been deployed onto the streets and people are only allowed to leave their homes to seek medical care, buy food or collect a social grant.
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said the protective structures which are at the national level have cascaded to the provinces and municipalities across South Africa.
“We have also sent directions to the municipalities that are in line with the lockdown. There should be no social activities or gatherings other than just funerals, municipal halls should be closed except on days when they are assisting with grant payments," she said.
Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu on Friday announced that South Africa's current Covid-19 infection figure was 1,170.
Mthembu told journalists in Pretoria that he was making the announcement on behalf of Health Hinister Zweli Mkhize, who was not at the briefing.
Mthembu added, as a correction, that one person had been confirmed dead as a result of Covid-19 while the other one death may not be as a result of the disease.