Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana-Dlamini Zuma. Picture: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency (ANA)
Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana-Dlamini Zuma. Picture: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency (ANA)

High court gives Dlamini Zuma partial leave to appeal ruling on Covid-19 restrictions

By African News Agency Time of article published Jul 1, 2020

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Cape Town - The North Gauteng High Court has granted the government partial leave to appeal its earlier ruling last month striking down the country's much-criticised disaster regulations as irrational and unconstitutional.

Judge Norman Davis denied Co-operative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma leave to appeal the regulations he singled out in his judgment in June, when he set aside most of the state's disaster regulations gazetted in response to the coronavirus health crisis.

Judge Davis had found the minister failed to weigh regulations to ensure there was a rational connection between the restrictions imposed and the state's aim of seeking to contain a severe health threat to the population.

He granted her leave to appeal the judgment in terms of regulations struck down in blanket fashion when he found that "in a substantial number of instances (the regulations) are not rationally connected to the objectives of slowing the rate of infection or limiting the spread thereof".

In his judgment, Judge Davis gave Dlamini Zuma 14 days to review the regulations in line with the rationality test.

He revised this in his response to the application for leave to appeal to give her a further 10 days to revise those regulations that would fall outside the scope of the appeal.

These were regulations 33(1)(e), 34, 35, 39(2)(m) and the exceptions to regulations 46(1) and 48(2). They pertain to limitations on exercise, the ban on visiting parks and beaches, the prohibition on vigils and prescriptions on the degree of family relations at funerals.

The regulations were challenged by a little-known group called the Liberty Fighters Network and the judgment prompted Cabinet to hold a special meeting where it decided to take it on appeal.

Judge Davis had held that insofar as regulations were not rational, the infringement they represented on freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights was not tenable in a democratic society based on human dignity, freedom and equality.

He was scathing of the minister's approach, saying it appeared that she had proceeded as if the aim justified any means. Judge Davis also found it was problematic that the power to gazette regulations and direct substantial aspects of everyday life "was concentrated in the hands of a single minister".

African News Agency/ANA 

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