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Muslim groups to challenge govt lockdown regulations in court

Two Islamic scholars and the As-Saadiqeen Islamic Centre want the president to open the places of worship when regulations are eased from Friday.

Picture: Pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - The High Court in Pretoria is expected to hand down judgment this week on whether mosques can open for prayers during Ramadan while the country remains in lockdown.

Two Islamic scholars and the As-Saadiqeen Islamic Centre want President Cyril Ramaphosa to open the places of worship when regulations are eased from Friday.

Last week, a group of Muslims were arrested while they prayed in Mpumalanga in contravention of the Disaster Management Act.

The Islamic scholars want mosques to be opened for Ramadan with a limited number of worshipers. They said the closure of their place of worship was unconstitutional and unjustifiable.

But, in court last week the State made reference to South Korea’s so-called “patient 31”, a church member who was thought to have disobeyed quarantine rules and ended up spreading the coronavirus.

In South Africa, millions of people from various denominations have put religious gatherings on hold including the Zion Christian Church, which for the first time in history postponed its annual Easter pilgrimage in Moria, Limpopo.

Churches have been forced to adapt with some opting for alternative ways to worship including online sermons.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.