- Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is appealing a high court ruling that lockdown regulations are unconstitutional and invalid.
- Liberty Fighters Network, which brought the case against Dlamini-Zuma, refused to take part in online court proceedings.
- The SCA reserved judgment in the matter.
The high court judgment declaring lockdown regulations invalid and unconstitutional was a case of judicial overreach, the Supreme Court of Appeals (SCA) heard on Wednesday.
Advocate Geoff Budlender SC, on behalf of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution, told the SCA justices that the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria's decision to declare lockdown regulations invalid and unconstitutional amounted to judicial overreach.
Liberty Fighters Network (LFN) took Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to court over last year's lockdown regulations.
The high court ruled in their favour, saying while declaring a state of disaster was rational, some of the regulations were irrational, thus making all Disaster Management Act regulations unconstitutional and invalid. Dlamini-Zuma is appealing the decision.
On Wednesday, LFN and Hola Bon Renaissance Foundation - which is amicus curiae - refused to participate in the online court hearing. Instead, they wanted the matter to be heard in an open court. LFN's Reyno de Beer also wanted the five justices presiding over the case to recuse themselves.
Budlender said the judge in the high court was "panicked by the case".
He said the ruling undermined the public's confidence in the courts.
The minister's legal representative, advocate Wim Trengrove SC, also said the high court had erred in its judgment.
"His [De Beer] attack is that all of the regulations violate many provisions of the Bill of Rights. With respect, when one contends that a law is unconstitutional, then you have to identify the particular law, the constitutional right it violates. The high court judgment was wrong."
The SCA reserved judgment in the case.