Judgment reserved in Dlamini Zuma appeal bid against lockdown regulations
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Judgment was reserved in the application by the government for leave to appeal against an earlier judgment by the Gauteng High Court,
Pretoria, in which most of the lockdown regulations, especially under level 4 and 5, were declared invalid.
Judge Norman Davis was asked by advocate Wim Trengove SC, acting on behalf of Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, to grant leave to appeal to a higher court, such as the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.
Trengove argued there were good prospects another court would come to a different finding. His argument was mostly based on
Dlamini Zuma’s contention that Judge Davis went beyond the scope of what he was asked and that the applicants were vague in their attack against the regulations.
Trengove said it was thus unclear during the initial hearing as to exactly what case she had to meet.
Pretoria resident Reyno de Beer and his organisation, Liberty Fighters Network, earlier this month turned to the court to have the lockdown regulations declared irrational and unconstitutional.
Judge Davis earlier gave the government 14 days from June 2, when his judgment was delivered, to take another look at the lockdown
regulations and to streamline it so that it was in line with the Constitution.
While he did question the bulk of the lockdown regulations – even some under level 3 – he did not make a finding on the legality of the
tobacco ban, as this issue was pending before a full bench at the time. Judgment has meanwhile been reserved in the tobacco issue.
The government, on wanting to take the matter on appeal, meanwhile said it was in the public interest for the Supreme Court of Appeal to urgently hear their appeal.
Dlamini Zuma said the regulations drastically affected the lives of South Africans on a daily basis. If the regulations were in breach of the Constitution, that needed to be determined as a matter of urgency. If they were, on the other hand, compliant with the Bill of Rights and binding, that too must be urgently determined,
Trengove argued there was basically “a blanket attack” by De Beer and his organisation against the lockdown regulations. According
to him, they never in full explained how each of these regulations were irrational and placed limitations on South Africans.
Thus, he said, she had no idea what case to meet. But Judge Davis commented that these limitations were obvious.
“For example, the limitation on the freedom of movement. How many more details do you want on this?,” he asked.
Trengove said the applicants should have supplied more details as to why they thought these regulations were irrational, so that the
minister could explain how they had come about. He further argued the court had made some drastic findings while some of these issues were not contained in the applicants’ case.
In opposing the application for leave to appeal, counsel for the Liberty Fighters Network said while they may not have specified each
regulation they felt were irrational, it was clear each of these regulations were irrational.
They argued the minister was definitely not taken by surprise by their attack and she knew exactly what case she had to meet in court.
De Beer, who once again acted in person, argued the court must overlook the technical arguments presented by the government. He said this case was all about the interest of justice and these issues directly affected the ordinary citizen, which he represented.