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ConCourt loss won't stop us from challenging COVID-19 lockdown restrictions - DA

The Constitutional Court dismissed the DA's court bid, saying it was not urgent nor in the interest of justice.

FILE: DA interim leader John Steenhuisen says that the party was still against the regulations, and this would not stop them from fighting them. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Thursday that while the party was disappointed with losing its direct access bid to challenge lockdown restrictions, it was not giving up on having them declared unconstitutional.

The highest court in the land dismissed its application on Wednesday, saying that the matter was not urgent and the case was not in the interest of justice.

Government opposed the DA's application.

DA interim leader John Steenhuisen told Eyewitness News that the party was still against the regulations, and this would not stop them from fighting them.

"This will delay our action, but it's certainly not going to deter us. It is our view, and remains so, that in its current guise, the Disaster Management Act, under which a state of disaster was declared, does not pass constitutional muster. The reason for this is that there is no provision for parliamentary oversight."

About a month ago, the DA filed Constitutional Court papers challenging the Disaster Management Act, asking for effective parliamentary oversight mechanisms to watch the state’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

The DA argued that the current setup did not effectively involve Parliament in government’s decision-making around the pandemic.

Steenhuisen, at the time, said that the Disaster Management Act gave Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma “exceedingly broad” powers over almost every aspect of the business sector and the lives of South Africans.

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