Government to appeal High Court lockdown ruling

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet has agreed to appeal the Gauteng High Court ruling which declared the country’s alert level 3 and alert level 4 lockdown regulations invalid and unconstitutional.

In a media briefing on Thursday (3 June), minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu, said that it will appeal the judgement based on legal advice it obtained as well as comment from the legal fraternity.

“We are of the view that another court may come to a different conclusion on the matter. Cabinet has, therefore, decided to appeal the North Gauteng High Court decision.”

“The appeal will be brought on an urgent basis so that there can be clarity on the regulations,” he said.

Mthembu said that Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will be joined in the appeal by president Cyril Ramaphosa and health minister Zweli Mkhize.

He added that the government will also extend the State of Disaster by a further month.

On Tuesday (2 June), the Gauteng High court declared that the country’s alert level 3 and alert level 4 lockdown regulations are invalid and unconstitutional.

The High Court suspended the declaration of invalidity of the regulations for 14 days, meaning that the level 3 regulations remain in effect for now.

In its ruling, the court specifically highlighted how the regulations did not pass the rationality test and have infringed on the Bill of Rights.

“Insofar as the lockdown regulations do not satisfy the rationality test, their encroachment on and limitation of rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights contained in the Constitution are not justifiable in an open democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom as contemplated in Section 36 of the Constitution,” said Judge Norman Davis.

The court directed Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, in consultation with other ministers, to amend, review, and republish the regulations.

This must be done with due consideration to the limitation each regulation has on the rights guaranteed under the Bill of Rights.

Read: Why government can appeal the High Court’s lockdown ruling

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Government to appeal High Court lockdown ruling