- The High Court has declared the lockdown regulations invalid and unconstitutional
- With over 200 000 citizens arrested for contravening the restrictions since March this raises numerous questions
- Briefly.co.za explores what is expected to happen next for South Africa
Countless South Africans have been arrested for violating lockdown regulations since it was announced in late March.
Briefly.co.za reported that the Gauteng High Court had ruled the restrictions both invalid and unconstitutional on Tuesday, giving the government two weeks to rectify the laws so as not to infringe on the Bill of Rights.
The ruling saw the enforcement of lockdown rules, including arrests, as 'arbitrary and unlawful'. In other words, this means that any attempts to enforce 'justice' under an invalid lockdown have flunked the 'rationality test':
“In every instance where means are implemented by authorities to obtain a specific outcome, an evaluative exercise must be taken insofar as those means may encroach on a personal right to determine whether such action was ‘Constitutional’. Without conducting such inquiries, the enforcement of these means – even in a bona fide attempt to gain a legitimate gain, would be arbitrary and unlawful. The lockdown regulations do not satisfy the ‘rationality test’, and they are not justifiable in an open and democratic society based on human dignity and freedom.”
However, this does not mean that all arrests made during the lockdown will be expunged, with the government still able to appeal the ruling.
However, Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen insists that the government is facing more legal defeats:
"This judgement will be the first of many that are going to go against the government and their petty, irrational regulations. Let this be the first in a series of lessons for those power-drunk autocrats that this is a democracy and NOT a fiefdom and we are citizens NOT subjects!"
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