Here is what the High Court said about the various lockdown regulations
Source: News 24, 04/06/2020
Although the country is still on lockdown, the Gauteng High Court
in Pretoria has declared various regulations governing Alert Level
3 and 4 as unconstitutional and invalid.
Judge Norman Davis found that little or no regard was given to the
extent of the impact of individual regulations on the
constitutional rights of people and whether the extent of
limitation of their rights was justifiable or not.
The judgment was handed down on Tuesday following the urgent
application brought by the Liberty Fighters Network (LFN) and the
Hola Bon Renaissance Foundation.
Davis ordered Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional
Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to formulate changes to the
regulations within 14 days.
However, News24 reported that the national state of disaster is
set to lapse before that deadline.
Here is what the High Court said about the various regulations:
On the attendance of funerals:
The disparity of the situations is not only distressing but
Judge Norman Davis
Davis said: `When a person, young or old is in the grip of a
terminal disease, other than Covid-19 and is slowly leaving this
life to ease that suffering and the passing, it is part of the
nature of humanity for family and loved ones to support the
`One might understand the reluctance to have an influx of visitors
should the person at death`s door be inside the doors of a medical
facility for fear of the spread of Covid-19, but what if the
person is in his or her own home or at the home of a family member
or a friend?`
He said once a person has died, up to 50 people `armed with
certified copies of death certificates may even cross provincial
boarders to attend the funeral of one who has departed and is no
longer in need of support. The disparity of the situations is not
only distressing but irrational.`
On night vigils being prohibited:
Davis questioned why night vigils were totally banned, saying if
one wants to prevent the spreading of the novel coronavirus
through close proximity, why not impose time, distance and closed
`Why not allow a vigil without the body of the deceased? If long
distance travel is allowed albeit under strict limitations, a
vigil by a limited number of grieving family under similar
limitations can hardly pose a larger threat,` he said.
On hairdressers, waste pickers, street vendors and construction
The High Court Judge said there were millions of South Africans
who operate in the informal sector, who have lost their
`Their contact with other people is less on a daily basis than,
for example, the attendance of a single funeral. The blanket ban
imposed on them as opposed to the imposition of limitations and
precautions appear to be irrational.
`In the case of a hairdressers, a single mother and sole provider
for her family may have been prepared to comply with all the
preventative measures proposed in the draft Alert Level 3
regulations but must now watch her children go hungry while
witnessing minicab taxis pass with passengers in closer proximity
to each other than they would have been in her salon.
`She is stripped of her rights of dignity, equality, to earn a
living and to provide for the best interest of her children,`
On limitations of exercise:
Davis said limitations on exercises were `equally perplexing`.
`If the laudable objective is not to have large groups of people
exercising in close proximity to each other, the regulations
should say so rather than prohibit the organising of exercise in
an arbitrary fashion.
`To restrict the hours of exercise to arbitrarily determined time
periods is completely irrational. On places and premises closed to
He also added that it can hardly be argued that it is rational to
allow scores of people to run on the promenade but `were one to
step a foot on the beach, it will lead to a rampant infection`.
`And what about the poor gogo who had to look after four
youngsters in a single room shack during the whole lockdown
period? She may still not take them to the park, even if they all
wear masks and avoid other people altogether.`
On certain clothing items being sold:
The Judge 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 regulation`s