Dlamini-Zuma might be going to jail as she hires top lawyer
In an application for leave to appeal a judgment passed earlier this month that lockdown regulations were unlawful, the high court in Pretoria on Wednesday reserved judgement. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
On June 4, Judge Norman Davis found the lockout rules unconstitutional. He said the declaration of invalidity was postponed until such time as the regulations were checked, revised and republished by cooperative governance and traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
Davis had given 14 days for the minister to do so.
The minister has indicated after the judgment that she intends to apply for leave to appeal.
Davis heard arguments on Wednesday from the Minister's advocate, Wim Trengove SC, in which he sought to grant leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal.
Trengove said Davis made a mistake when he held that some of the Level 3 regulations were irrational and then, based on that finding, found that all of the Level 3 and Level 4 regulations were unlawful.
With respect, we submit that the finding that some regulations are invalid does not warrant an order that all regulations are unlawful said Trengove.
The Liberty Fighters Network which brought the challenge to the regulations, however, opposed the request for leave to appeal.
Davis reserved judgment after hearing representations from both sides.
LFN founder Reyno de Beer said before the hearing: "If the court agrees with us today, this may be the best news that South Africans have had since 1994 and definitely a triumph for all those who have had to suffer the government's widespread human rights abuses of the past three months."
Meanwhile, De Beer said in a statement that the organization believes the application has become doubtful in effect because the minister failed to obey court order, which gave her 14 days to fix the rules.
He said he claimed that the lockdown regulations were no longer legally in force, because the last day for the minister to comply with the court order, amend and republish the regulations was Tuesday, June 23.
However, the Superior Courts Act states that, pending the application or appeal decision, the operation and execution of a decision which is the subject of an application for leave to appeal shall be suspended.