- The Western Cape High Court dismissed an application to declare the lockdown regulations invalid and the NCCC unconstitutional.
- The court found the regulations were justified and it was not for the courts to prescribe to the government how it should handle a national disaster.
- The court ordered each party to pay their own costs.
An application to have the lockdown regulations declared invalid, and the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) declared inconsistent with the Constitution and the Disaster Management Act, was dismissed in the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town on Friday.
Last month, Mpiyakhe Dlamini, Duwayne Esau, Tami Jackson, Lindo Khuzwayo, Mikhail Manuel, Neo Mkwane, Scott Roberts and Riaan Salie brought the application.
Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, President Cyril Ramaphosa, Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel, the NCCC, and the Disaster Management Centre were the respondents.
Judges Rosheni Allie and Elizabeth Baartman presided.
In her judgement of 83 pages, Judge Allie said she is "satisfied that the regulations are justified".
"I accept that the measures do not satisfy everyone and there is a great deal of criticism levelled against them. The inconvenience and discontent that the regulations have caused the applicants and others have to be weighed against the urgent objective and primary constitutional duty to save lives," reads Allie's judgment.
"It is not for the courts to prescribe to government how it should exercise its mandate in those circumstances."
Allie said she couldn't conceive of an argument more destructive to the applicants' assertion that they acted in the public interest, than their argument that the regulation suspending evictions was unlawful.
"I am not persuaded that [the] applicants are entitled to any of the relief they seek," Allie said.
Baartman agreed with Allie's judgment.
Allie said normally a cost order would follow the result, but given that the respondents conceded there was confusion about the role and powers of the NCCC, and the applicants "having cast the ambit of their relief widely", each party must pay its own cost.
The judgment came on the same day as the High Court in Pretoria dismissed, with costs, an application by the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association to have the government's ban on the sale of tobacco products overturned.