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Lockdown regulations saved lives, says Mthembu as govt appeals court ruling

Cabinet resolved to urgently appeal the Pretoria High Court judgment, which found many of the lockdown regulations were irrational and intruded on the rights of South Africans.

Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu. Pictire: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Cabinet on Thursday defended the lockdown regulations with Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu saying the decisions should not be questioned because they had saved lives.

Cabinet resolved to urgently appeal the Pretoria High Court judgment, which found many of the lockdown regulations were irrational and intruded on the rights of South Africans.

Mthembu said Cabinet had chosen to appeal to ensure that it could continue saving lives through the lockdown restrictions, which were in force for over 70 days now.

In a briefing following Cabinet meeting this week, Mthembu said the national executive stood by the decisions despite the numerous court challenges.

“Our decision making of being in a disaster situation in our country and locking down the movement of people, and the lockdown of the economy – that has assisted us to save lives,” Mthembu said.

“That judgment declared the COVID-19 lockdown regulations in level 3 and level 4 unconstitutional and invalid. After obtaining legal advice and listening to numerous comments from members of the legal fraternity in reaction to this judgment, we are of the view that another court might come to a different conclusion,” he added.

Political parties, lobby groups, big business, and individual South Africans have taken to the judiciary to question government’s lockdown restrictions, which some said impeded on their rights as enshrined in the Bill of Rights in the Constitution.

Cabinet also decided to extend the National State of Disaster declaration by another month until 15 July.

The law allowed only three months of the national state of disaster following which Cabinet should approve extensions monthly.

WATCH: Lockdown invalidity appeal: COVID-19 Situation Desk - 4 June 2020 PM

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