NGO challenges constitutionality of lockdown, files Constitutional Court papers

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President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing the SA National Defence Force before their deployment ahead of a lockdown for 21 days.
President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing the SA National Defence Force before their deployment ahead of a lockdown for 21 days.
PHOTO: GCIS

An organisation has filed papers in the Constitutional Court, seeking leave to challenge President Cyril Ramaphosa's order that the country should go into lockdown for 21 days to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

The Hola Bon Renaissance (HBR) Foundation cited Ramaphosa, Deputy President David Mabuza and the Presidency as respondents.

The foundation wants the court to declare that Ramaphosa violated the Constitution and abused his powers when he implemented the lockdown.

It also claims the president is violating South Africans' rights to human dignity, freedom of movement, freedom of trade, occupation and profession, and access to healthcare, food and water.

READ | High Court dismisses application of man wanting to travel to Eastern Cape for funeral

Foundation chairperson Bontshitwe Mothopeng says the organisation wants the court to interdict the president from continuing with the lockdown.

HBR also wants the court to declare that the coronavirus "poses no threat to the country and its people".

Judiciary spokesperson Nathi Mncube has confirmed that the organisation has filed the notice in the Constitutional Court.

He says Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has yet to indicate whether the application will be entertained.

The state attorney's office has indicated the state will oppose the application.

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