South Africans protesting against masks, vaccines head to court
Pretoria - Demonstrators, including supporters of Liberty Fighters Network (LFN), church members and individuals who are opposed to the wearing of masks, as well as those opposed to vaccines, are expected to be in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, today in support of an urgent application against the government.
Sean Goss, one of the people who plans to be present, said it was not an organised event but a demonstration of individuals supporting the application brought by LFN in which it is calling on the court to declare the adjusted level 3 regulations unconstitutional.
Goss said some supporters would be inside the court and others outside on Church Square to show support for Reyno de Beer and his organisation.
He also gave the assurance that while some members of the group who will be there were against wearing masks, they would adhere to the Covid-19 safety regulations and wear masks.
“We are simply going to court in support of the application. We will most definitely also not tell people not to wear masks,” Goss said.
Coincidentally, the same judge who in June ruled in favour of De Beer and his group LFN, in which several of the lockdown regulations were declared irrational and unconstitutional, will again preside over this latest case against the government.
Judge Norman Davis, who made headlines when he criticised lockdown regulations at the time, is this week again dealing with urgent applications.
De Beer and his organisation’s application has been set down as number nine on Judge Davis’s roll, and the matter will be heard at the old Palace of Justice.
De Beer is expected to argue his own case, as he did in June, while a senior advocate is expected to argue the case on behalf of his organisation.
The applicants did not receive opposing papers which were due to be filed over the weekend by Co-operative and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, whose responsibility the regulations are.
They were, however, due to receive them yesterday.
Apart from asking that the current regulations under the Disaster Management Act be overturned, De Beer and his network will also ask that the minister be held in contempt of Davis’s June judgment.
The minister, in a letter dated January 2, denied that she was in contempt of court.
The letter, which forms part of the court papers, states that the minister issued entirely new regulations on December 29, to govern alert level 3.
It was said on her behalf that these were not merely revised level 3 regulations which had been substituted with new regulations.
“The effect is that each of the six specific level 3 regulations that the high court declared unconstitutional and invalid have now either been repealed or replaced by new regulations (as of December 29),” the State attorney said in the letter.
It was added that therefore, whatever the status of the June 2 court order, the specific regulations declared unconstitutional and invalid were no longer in effect and the minister, accordingly, denies any allegation that she is in contempt of the June order.
De Beer and LFN, are, however, adamant that they have good prospects for winning their latest urgent application. While they prefer to see the minister jailed for contempt of court, they said the court, should it find that she was indeed in contempt, could issue any sanction it deemed fit.