Court asked to issue contempt order against Minister
Judgment has been reserved in the application by Reyno de Beer and his group, the Liberty Fighters Network, to end the lockdown regulations and to hold Co-operative Governance & Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in contempt of court, according to a report by legal writer Zelda Venter in the Pretoria News.
De Beer, who argued his own case in the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria), was sceptical about Covid-19 and said over the past 10 months, the government had not shared information justifying the National State of Disaster and the regulations issued in this regard.
‘Unfortunately, the State of Disaster is continuing and it's getting more bizarre by the day,’ De Beer said.
‘The regulations are chopped and changed almost once every month,’ he told Judge Norman Davis – the same judge who in June ruled in favour of De Beer and his organisation when they first turned to court to have the then regulations overturned.
In that matter the judge ruled that most of the then regulations were irrational. The Minister, however, belatedly applied for leave to appeal to the SCA against that judgment two days before Christmas and will now have to ask the court to grant her condonation for her late filing before the appeal process can continue.
De Beer said, in his opinion, there is no pending appeal as the Minister has not yet got the go-ahead from that court to proceed.
Thus, he argued, she is in contempt of court in light of the June judgment, as she is simply continuing to issue regulations under the Disaster Management Act.
De Beer also opposed the compulsory wearing of masks and making it a criminal offence for failure to do so, notes the Pretoria News report.
The judge questioned what people who are exposed to the 'non-maskers' must do.
De Beer said those who are scared of contracting the virus should stay indoors.
Advocate Wim Trengove, for the Minister, said she had to continue to implement measures to safeguard the country against the pandemic, especially against the second wave, and if the court ordered the setting aside of the regulations, it would leave the country in a regulatory void with disastrous consequences.
Article disclaimer: While we have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this article, it is not intended to provide final legal advice as facts and situations will differ from case to case, and therefore specific legal advice should be sought with a lawyer.