The political fallout over the future of the country’s lockdown laws heads to court on Friday, despite the commencement of consultations to ease into level 3.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Western Cape will on Friday file papers, challenging the constitutionality of the Disaster Management Act.
The party is challenging the rationality of three separate lockdown related issues, the night curfew – the ban on e-commerce, which has since been lifted, and exercise hours.
Interim leader John Steenhuisen said if the act did not meet constitutional muster, it means decisions taken by the national command council were invalid.
Steenhuisen said this was an extremely important case because it spoke to one of the most crucial principles in South Africa’s democracy and the separation of powers.
“We have an executive branch of Cabinet, which is Cabinet and a legislative branch, which is Parliament, for a very good reason. Right now, the executive is doing the job of writing our laws and regulations as they please.”
Steenhuizen said this could not continue: “Because from here, our democracy finds itself on a very slippery slope. What we will ask the court to do is provide the same oversight provisions to the state of disaster as to the state of emergency because without this oversight, petty authoritarians who hopped on to power, are being allowed to run amok.”
The Freedom Front Plus will also be heading to court for similar reasons.