Civil rights organisation AfriForum’s legal team plans to file an urgent application in the Northern Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to set aside the national curfew on Tuesday.
AfriForum said on Monday that the legal move to challenge the national curfew had been taken after the
Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, had refused to respond to AfriForum’s demands to provide the organisation with evidence to reveal the basis for the decision to restrict citizens’ movement under the national lockdown curfew.
Organisation demands scientific reasons for curfew
AfriForum said that it had asked the minister to assist with the following:
To be provide the organisation with a set of written reasons why there are curfews as well as supporting scientific evidence that curfews are an effective precautionary measure against COVID-19.To be provide the organisation with the documents and supporting documents, expert reports, evidence and data which supports the decision to enact the national curfews.That the implementation of national curfews be ceased with immediate effect.
“The national curfew and the six months criminal sanction that can be imposed for violating curfew are irrational, illegal and unconstitutional and should be reviewed and set aside,” AfriForum said on Monday.
The matter is expected to be heard virtually in the North Gauteng High Court at 10am on Tuesday 14 December.
The latest legal challenge to the national Covid-19 lockdown regulations comes as the country braces for the possibility of further lockdown restrictions as the fourth wave of the pandemic continues to sweep across the country.
Meanwhile, the national tourism industry has already been devastated by the latest wave of Covid-19 which has seen people contract the highly contagious yet less severe Omicron variant of the virus.
Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) CEO Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa said the sector’s initial desktop survey had suggested that it had lost R1 billion worth of bookings over the past few days. This did not include the losses incurred by airlines and other tourism spending at restaurants, curio shops and other retail outlets.