The government has taken note of the judgment declaring the alert level 4 and 3 lockdown regulations unconstitutional and invalid, it said in a statement on Tuesday.
The ruling was delivered by the North Gauteng Division of the High Court today.
“The court suspended the declaration of invalidity for a period of 14 days, which means the alert level 3 regulations remain in operation for now,” the statement said.
The court has further directed Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, in consultation with the relevant ministers, to review, amend and republish the regulations with “due consideration to the limitation each regulation has on the rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights”.
Judge Norman Davis found that some of the regulations promulgated by the government simply did not meet the rationality test in preventing the spread of Covid-19. The judge questioned various aspects of the lockdown provisions.
The judge commented that during argument in court, counsel for the minister conceded that even if the government’s attempts at providing economic relief functioned at its optional best, monetary recompense cannot remedy the loss of rights such as dignity, freedom of movement, assembly, association and the like.
Judge Davis said he is sure, at the mere reading of the regulations, even including level 3, there are many more instances of “sheer irrationality” included in the regulations.
He said one can only think of the irrationality under level 4 of being allowed to buy a jersey but no open-toed shoes.
The cabinet will make a further statement once it has fully studied the judgment, the statement read.
The case was brought by the Liberty Fighters Network, which argued that the lockdown restrictions were unlawful and unconstitutional because a state of emergency had not been declared.