The high court has ruled that government’s lockdown regulations are not legal but they will nevertheless remain in place for at least the next 14 days.
Government spokesperson Phumla Williams said on Tuesday evening that government had taken note of the judgment delivered by the Gauteng Division of the High Court today declaring the Alert Level 4 and Alert Level 3 Lockdown regulations unconstitutional and invalid.
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”.
“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,'” he said.
The judge identified a number of instances of irrationality in the regulations.
“The examples are too numerous to mention,” he said. “One need only to think of the irrationality in being allowed to buy a jersey but not undergarments or open-toed shoes and the criminalisation of many of the regulatory measures.”