Covid-19 update: State of disaster extended, Dlamini-Zuma faces charge

Covid-19 update: State of disaster extended, Dlamini-Zuma faces charge

The State of Disaster has been extended by yet another month by the government. explores the latest on the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Not only has the State of Disaster been extended until 15 July but the government intends to challenge the ruling finding that the Covid-19 lockdown unconstitutional and invalid. explores the latest stories on Covid-19 in SA.

1. Mthembu announces lockdown extension: Government to appeal ruling

Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu has announced that the government will be appealing the decision handed down by the Gauteng High Court. reported that the court had found the Covid-19 lockdown regulations to be 'unconstitutional and invalid', giving the government 14 days to review the restrictions.

During a media briefing following a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, Mthembu commented that the state intended to challenge this ruling:

"While government appeals the court judgment, current regulations remain in force and we appeal and urge all our people to observe all the health protocols that have been put in place including washing of hands, social distancing, wearing of masks in public."

In addition to this, the Covid-19 lockdown would be extended to 15 July to avoid the State of Disaster lapsing:

"Cabinet approved the extension of the National State of Disaster by another month from the 15th June to 15 July 2020. The law allows for the National State of disaster to last for 90 days which necessitates the extension."

2. Tobacco ban: Dlamini-Zuma facing possible contempt of court charge

Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma may well have found herself in hot water over the tobacco ban.

Numerous entities, including the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association, had taken the government to court over the lockdown restrictions.

Now, the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister may be facing a contempt of court charge over the debacle.

Dlamini-Zuma had been instructed to supply an affidavit responding to the court challenge filed by FITA but has since missed the deadline.

Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen has condemned this move, slamming the minister as a 'Constitutional delinquent' for failing to meet the deadline.

3. State of Disaster deadline looms: Future of lockdown in question

The current State of Disaster is set to officially expire on Sunday, 14 June and, should officials fail to extend the deadline, the lockdown will expire along with it. reported that the Gauteng High Court had ruled that the current restrictions were 'unconstitutional and invalid', handing the state 14 business days in order to adjust the regulations.

However, now it seems as if the government won't even have that long in the first place.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has the option to extend the lockdown on a monthly basis or opt to allow the deadline to pass and declare a new state of disaster.

With both the Disaster Management Act and the National Coronavirus Command Council facing immense scrutiny in both the political and judicial sphere, it will be interesting to see which route the government would end up taking.

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