Helen Suzman Foundation's application for leave to appeal in matter against Parliament dismissed

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(Misha Jordaan/Gallo Images)
(Misha Jordaan/Gallo Images)
  • The High Court dismissed the Helen Suzman Foundation's (HSF) application for leave to appeal.
  • This after the court dismissed their application to compel Parliament to pass Covid-19 specific legislation.
  • The court found HSF didn't have any prospects of a successful appeal.

The Gauteng Division of the High Court in Pretoria has turned down an application by the Helen Suzman Foundation's (HSF) application for leave to appeal the 7 October judgment, which dismissed the HSF's bid to compel Parliament to pass Covid-19 specific legislation.

In May, the foundation approached the Constitutional Court for direct access, but was turned down. Then, in July, it lodged an application with the High Court.

"The HSF desires a restoration of power to Parliament and the Executive, functioning as each is required by the Constitution. No explicit attack is made on the policy choices or value judgments embodied in existing regulations, nor will the regulations fall away before Parliament passes the required laws. The application seeks to restore the primacy of our Constitutional dispensation," the foundation said in a statement at the time.

The HSF contended that the Disaster Management Act (DMA), under which the government is managing the Covid-19 pandemic, was a short-term measure not suited to dealing with Covid-19 and accordingly triggered a duty on the part of the Executive and the Legislature to initiate and pass Covid-19 specific legislation.

READ | Lockdown: ConCourt dismisses case by Helen Suzman Foundation for direct access

"Having closely analysed the DMA, including its specific provisions as well as its overall structure, the Court had found that the DMA was intended for disasters without limitation or restriction of the duration of the disaster," reads a statement from Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo released on Monday.

"The court dismissed the Foundation's Application on the basis that an appeal neither had any reasonable prospects of success nor did the Foundation provide compelling reasons why leave to appeal should be granted."

Mothapo said Speaker of the National Assembly Thandi Modise welcomed the judgment as it, "augurs well for the doctrine of separation of powers in which courts are not unduly involved in the constitutional powers of Parliament".

The judgment follows the recent dismissal of other appeal applications by AfriForum – challenging the constitutionality of Parliament’s processing the review of Section 25 of the Constitution – and the Public Protector last week.

The Public Protector asked the court to halt the removal process against her, pending her application to have the rules for the removal of the head of a Chapter 9 Institution declared unconstitutional and invalid. 

- Compiled by Jan Gerber

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