The current challenge of all Lockdown Regulations in the High Court Pretoria, has taken an unexpected and suprising turn.
Attorneys for the social justice organisation Liberty Fighters Network (LFN) and it’s President Reyno De Beer last week served an urgent application on the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr. Nkosozana Dlamini Zuma, on Wednesday 13 May 2020 challenging the validity of all Lockdown Regulations.
Notwithstanding that Dlamini Zuma was given time until Friday 15 May 2020 to file her answering affidavit, that time was extended to Wednesday 20 May 2020 by a court directive.
Without providing any satisfactory reason, Dlamini Zuma failed to adhere to the further extended deadline provided, forcing LFN and De Beer to instruct their human rights attorneys, Zehir Omar Attorneys, to proceed with the Court case on an unopposed basis.
The parties will be hearing from Court today Friday 22 May 2020 whether a default order will be granted or whether the applicants will still be requested to proceed with arguments before Court.
In the event the Court rules to grant the default order declaring the Lockdown Regulations as unconstitutional and invalid, automatic access will then be given to the Constitutional Court for confirmation of the order before it becomes operational.
The effect of the invalidity of all Lockdown Regulations, if declared, will result that Government could face massive damages claims from basically everyone.
We do belief that COVID-19 is a dreadful disease we must be concerned about, but, in line with the recent Pakistan Supreme Court judgment of 18 May 2020 ordering all their businesses to open, this disease should not be handled in any different way than we are currently handling all other pandemics we face daily like HIV/Aids, Tuberculosis, Malaria, Cholera, Meningitis, and of course Influenza which currently contributes to at least 3000 deaths in South Africa every month.
It’s time for all of us to say to Government that the people had enough of the Lockdown and at some point there must be a reasonable balance between protecting us from getting infected and us suffering and dying of starvation because we are unable to earn money for a living.
Reyno De Beer
President: Liberty Fighters Network (LFN)