- Since the national lockdown started, the government has a string of cases challenging different aspects of the Covid-19 lockdown and the Disaster Management Act
- Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said the government is, however, only winning in the court room
- Madonsela said the government is losing public support in its efforts to fight the Covid-19 virus
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During the pandemic the government has been dragged from court to court for several of its lockdown regulations, including various cases for the contentious tobacco ban.
The government has emerged victorious in many of these cases.
Government may be winning court cases seeking to challenge their response to the Covid-19 pandemic but they are losing public buy-in.
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This is according to Professor Thuli Madonsela who said government was creating a situation where the people were fighting to evade the government instead of fighting to combat the Covid-19 virus.
"They may be winning cases in courts of law but not in the court of pubic opinion.Virus is getting the better of us because it has become the people versus the government."
The former Public Protector said that even though the government is winning the cases, there was a growing lawlessness.
In June, Madonsela wrote an open letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa in which she reminded him that rules have to be reasonable and in the court of public opinion, reported Briefly.co.za.
Since Judge Norman Davis ruled that regulations under lockdown Level 4 and 3 were irrational, the government has had legal challenges against different parts of the lockdown go their way, said News24.
Madonsela said in some cases, the courts want to enforce separation of powers, relying on judicial deference. This means the courts view is that the executive has more expertise to deal with the matter.
As recent as Monday, the government won another case. The High Court in Pretoria dismissed the Freedom Front Plus Court bid challenging the constitutionality of the Disaster Management Act.
Madonsela said it was a pity that government may only lose cases long after the devastation caused by its decisions are felt.
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