VIDEO - DA, FF Plus, AfriForum head to court to challenge lockdown regulations - SABC News - Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa's news leader.

President Cyril Ramaphosa says that government will continue to face legal challenges in the way it’s dealing with the coronavirus pandemic but adds that sacrifices must be made.

FF PLUS will go to court on an urgent basis to put an end to lockdown. @GroenewaldPJ #COVID19SA #LockdownSA


This as the Democratic Alliance (DA), Freedom Front  Plus (FF Plus) and lobby group AfriForum announce intentions to file court papers over a number of issues, including forcing the government to lift the lockdown entirely to allow full economic activity to start and the constitutionality of aspects of the Disaster Management Act.

The threat posed by this lockdown crisis is so much greater than the threat of the virus, that we have no choice but to end the hard lockdown now and start our economy up. #EndTheLockdown

— Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) May 14, 2020

RKP Attorneys’ Rehana Khan Parker explains on Morning Live:  

‘Bad faith’

Political analyst Ongama Mtimka says the Democratic Alliance’s decision to take the government to court after questioning the rationality of some lockdown regulations is in bad faith.

Mtimka says the DA does not appreciate the unique circumstances in which COVID-19 has placed the country in.

The President on Thursday in the Eastern Cape said that the legal challenges that the government was facing against the national lockdown were part of the country’s constitutional democracy.

“The lockdown has disrupted people’s lives  – there are quite a number of people, organisations who do feel aggrieved and we did say right from the beginning that all of us will be required to make some sacrifices as we deal with this health challenge which has also turned out to be an economic challenge. Our constitution and our legal system allow anyone who is aggrieved to have the right to approach the courts and a number of people have done so and even I as president could never stand in the way of anybody who wants to challenge what we have put in place but also any decision that we take,” says Ramaphosa.

In the video below, President Cyril  Ramaphosa says legal challenges against lockdown are part of constitutional democracy.

‘Lack of oversight’

DA interim leader, John Steenhuisen, defends that these restrictions are in place due to the lack of oversight on the decisions taken by the National Command Council during the State of Disaster. The party is calling for an immediate easing of the national lockdown, saying it will force government to take the hard decisions that this entails via the courts.

“It is our opinion that is shared by many South Africans that all three of these decisions should be immediately reversed as there are no rational justifications for a military-enforced curfew, a restriction on e-commerce business and a limited three-hour window for exercise. But it must also be said that these irrational decisions are taken by the National Command Council because they are acting with no checks and balances. The State of Disaster which we are currently under is governed by the Disaster Management Act, and it makes zero provision for Parliamentary oversight which means that the secretive National Command Council actually answers to no one,” says Steenhuisen

We must fight back against being imprisoned by a night curfew enforced by armed soldiers and against the slew of irrational, petty regulations that do nothing but kill businesses, destroy jobs and turn decent people into criminals. #Day49ofLockdown #EndTheLockdown

— Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) May 14, 2020

High Court challenge

Steenhuisen says the party will file papers in the High Court challenging the rationality of three separate lockdown-related issues, namely the night curfew, the ban on e-commerce or online shopping as well as the restriction on exercise hours.

Steenhuisen said this is what South Africans want. But when asked when and where did South Africans speak about these lockdown restrictions, here is his response. Video below: