South Africa is on Day 3 of a 21-day lockdown so that the coronavirus cannot spread. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).
South Africa is on Day 3 of a 21-day lockdown so that the coronavirus cannot spread. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).

Mpumalanga man who wanted to attend funeral in E Cape denied permission to travel

By ZELDA VENTER Time of article published Mar 29, 2020

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Pretoria - In the first urgent application in our country restricting the movement of people since the 21 days of lockdown began, a judge said he had extreme sympathy with a man who wanted to attend the funeral of his grandfather in another province, but he had to uphold the law and refuse him permission to travel.

Karel Willem van Heerden who lives in Mbombela in Mpumalanga on Friday turned to the urgent court to obtain permission to travel to Hofmeyr in the Eastern Cape.

His mother had told him a few hours prior that his grandfather had passed away tragically in a fire at his home earlier that morning.

Van Heerden desperately wanted to travel to Hofmeyr to support his mother and to assist with his grandfather’s funeral.

The funeral is to take place sometime this week in Hofmeyr.

But in terms of the provision controlling the state of disaster announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa and the subsequent lockdown, he is not allowed to travel from one province to the other.

Van Heerden turned to court as he said he did not want to contravene the final lockdown regulation. He asked the court to be temporarily
exempted from the travelling restrictions.

He asked permission to leave Mbombela on Saturday (March 28) for Hofmeyr and to remain there until April 6.

“I have extreme sympathy for the applicant but I must uphold the law. Unfortunately, presently the law prohibits that which the applicant wants to do, however urgent and deserving,” Judge Johannes Hendrikse Roelofse said.

He added that the executive, under enabling legislation, invoked the law by declaring a state of disaster in order to curb the spreading of the coronavirus and this applied to everyone within the borders of the country.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Saturday evening that South Africa's confirmed coronavirus cases had increased to 1187. The country on Friday registered its first coronavirus-related death at a Western Cape hospital when a 48-year-old woman died after being in ICU. 

Pretoria News

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