NATIONAL NEWS - Following the Pretoria High Court’s ruling declaring the Level 4 and Level 3 lockdown regulations unconstitutional and invalid, South Africans have voiced their opinions.
The court suspended the declaration of invalidity for 14 days, meaning Level 3 regulations remain in operation for now.
Judge Norman Davis ruled in favour of Liberty Fighters Network, the Hola Bona Renaissance Foundation and attorney Reyno de Beer, after the group launched an urgent court challenge to the regulations.
The judge found that “little or in fact no regard was given to the extent of the impact of individual regulations on the constitutional rights of people and whether the extent of the limitation of their rights was justifiable or not”.
Davis said: “The starting point was not ‘How can we as government limit constitutional rights in the least possible fashion whilst still protecting the inhabitants of South Africa?’ but rather ‘We will seek to achieve our goal by whatever means, irrespective of the costs, and we will determine, albeit incrementally, which constitutional rights you as the people of South Africa, may exercise’.”
While some have commended the judgment, others say it was “disappointing”.
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela said she would be “surprised” if the judgment, in its current form, survived the scrutiny of a higher court.
She tweeted: “There would have been a lot to learn from this judgment if it were more clear, concise, accurate, professionally reasoned and persuasive. I’d be surprised if in its current form it survives the scrutiny of a higher court.”
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has labelled the judgment a “legal” joke.
“Not even a first-year law student could have written such an incoherent argument. The minister must appeal it,” he said.
This as former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa said the judgment appeared to be a “mess”.
“The judge doesn’t seem to have pointed out specific regulations to strike down but based on examples struck all down. Not all are irrational. I have my list. Whoever prepared the government papers (lawyers and DG) botched it too,” he said.