DA to file court papers today against lockdown regulations

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Western Cape will on Friday file papers, challenging the constitutionality of the Disaster Management Act.

DA interim leader John Steenhuisen. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The political fallout over the future of the country's lockdown laws heads to court on Friday, despite the commencement of consultations to ease into level 3.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Western Cape will on Friday file papers, challenging the constitutionality of the Disaster Management Act.

The party is challenging the rationality of three separate lockdown related issues, the night curfew - the ban on e-commerce, which has since been lifted, and exercise hours.

Interim leader John Steenhuisen said if the act did not meet constitutional muster, it means decisions taken by the national command council were invalid.

Steenhuisen said this was an extremely important case because it spoke to one of the most crucial principles in South Africa's democracy and the separation of powers.

“We have an executive branch of Cabinet, which is Cabinet and a legislative branch, which is Parliament, for a very good reason. Right now, the executive is doing the job of writing our laws and regulations as they please.”

Steenhuizen said this could not continue: “Because from here, our democracy finds itself on a very slippery slope. What we will ask the court to do is provide the same oversight provisions to the state of disaster as to the state of emergency because without this oversight, petty authoritarians who hopped on to power, are being allowed to run amok.”

WATCH: DA's address on the court action against lockdown regulations

Address on the DA’s court action against lockdown regulations

Today, the DA announced the court action we are taking to end the national hard lockdown that is tearing our society and economy to pieces. This afternoon, our lawyers will file papers in the High Court challenging the rationality of three separate lockdown-related decisions: the night curfew, the restrictions on e-commerce and the limited 3-hour window for exercise. These cannot be justified and should be immediately reversed. Tomorrow, our lawyers will be filing court papers challenging the constitutionality of the Disaster Management Act. Because if the Act does not meet constitutional muster, it means the decisions taken by the National Command Council under this Act are not valid. 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. If the President is unable to make the decision to end the hard lockdown, then help us make it for him. It is in South Africa’s interest that we succeed. To contribute to the DA’s legal action, please donate at https://donate.da.org.za/p/dacourtaction

Posted by Democratic Alliance on Thursday, 14 May 2020

The Freedom Front Plus will also be heading to court for similar reasons.