Lockdown regulations unconstitutional, irrational, finds court

South Africa’s level 3 and level 4 lockdown regulations lack logic and do not make sense.

Government now has two weeks to get its house in order.

This is according to Judge Norman Davis’ judgment that declared it unconstitutional and invalid in the Pretoria High Court today.

For the last two months, South Africans have been complaining their rights were being unjustifiably limited by the lockdown regulations. Examples include the right to move freely, obtain an education, and to trade.

This was also argued by the successful applicants who secured the outcome. They are Reyno Dawid De Beer and the Liberty Fighters Network (LFN). The LFN is a voluntary association that campaigns towards economic freedoms for all. The Hola Bon Renaissance foundation was added as a friend of the court.

De Beer heads the LFN and spoke to Caxton Local Media yesterday.

“The Constitution gives us all basic human rights. We are all equally able to go to court to ensure that justice prevails,” he said.

In his judgment, Davis highlighted the everyday experiences of South Africans that illustrated the damaging effect of these regulations on our people.

“To put it bluntly, it can hardly be argued that it is rational to allow scores of people to run on the promenade, but were one to step a foot on the beach, it would lead to rampant infection,” Davis summarised in his judgment.

“And what about the poor gogo who had to look after four youngsters in a single-room shack during the lockdown period? She may still not take them to the park, even if they all wear masks and avoid other people altogether.

“A single mother and sole provider for her family… must watch her children go hungry while witnessing minicab taxis pass with passengers in closer proximity to each other than they would have been in her salon. She is stripped of her right of dignity, equality, to earn a living and to provide for the best interests of her children.”

He found that these effects could not be justified.

While the latest regulations remain in force, the Department of Co-operate Governance and Traditional Affairs has a fortnight to ensure that lockdown regulations will no longer unjustifiably limit South Africans’ constitutional rights.

Caxton Local Media is studying the judgment and will provide more information soon.