Dlamini-Zuma hires top lawyer Wim Trengove in lockdown rules challenge
The high court in Pretoria on Wednesday reserved judgment in an application for leave to appeal a judgment passed earlier this month that lockdown regulations were unlawful.
Judge Norman Davis ruled on June 4 that the lockdown regulations were unconstitutional. He said the declaration of invalidity was suspended until such time as co-operative governance & traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma reviewed, amended and republished the regulations.
Davis gave the minister 14 days to do so.
After the judgment, the minister indicated she intended to apply for leave to appeal.
On Wednesday, Davis heard arguments from the advocate for the minister, Wim Trengove SC, in which he sought that leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal be granted.
Trengove said Davis erred when he held that some of the level 3 regulations were irrational and then, on the basis of that finding, found all of the regulations on level 3 and 4 to be invalid.
“We submit with respect that the finding that some regulations are invalid does not justify an order that all regulations are invalid,” Trengove said.
However, the Liberty Fighters Network (LFN), which brought the challenge to the regulations, opposed the application for leave to appeal.
After hearing arguments from both sides, Davis reserved judgment.
LFN founder Reyno de Beer said before the hearing: “If the court agrees with us today, this could be the best news South Africans had since 1994 and definitely a victory for all who had to endure the mass human rights violations of government the past three months.”
De Beer, meanwhile, said in a statement that the organisation believes that the application has effectively become moot because the minister failed to comply with the court order, which gave her 14 days to amend the regulations.
He said he believed the lockdown regulations are legally not in force any more, as the last day for the minister to have complied with the court order, to amend and republish the regulations, was Tuesday June 23.
However, the Superior Courts Act states that the operation and execution of a decision which is the subject of an application for leave to appeal is suspended, pending the decision of the application or appeal.