Constitution allows for lockdown extension

Constitution allows for lockdown extension

As we approach the two-week mark of the lockdown, many have been wondering whether confinement to our homes could possibly be extended beyond the initial 21-day period.

Members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) climb on an Armoured Personal Carrier (APC) during an operation in the Johannesburg CBD, on March 27, 2020. South Africa came under a nationwide military-patrolled lockdown on March 27, 2020, joi

The lockdown is being imposed in an earnest effort to disrupt the chain of COVID-19 infection.

A Constitutional law expert says should the president see fit - he may extend the national state of disaster for a few more months - as afforded within our Constitution.

Pierre De Vos says if an extension is announced - we can expect further limitations of citizens' rights...

“All rights can be limited in terms of the constitution, there is a limitation clause, but it can only be limited absolutely to an extent that it is necessary to deal with an important issue for an important purpose,” De Vos said.

 “The question is always whether each and every one of the regulations is narrowly drawn to limit the right only as much as it is absolutely necessary to make sure that the spread of the virus is suppressed.”

On Tuesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said they were still assessing the effectiveness of the lockdown.

He added that he strongly believed that if South Africa hadn't been on lock down - the COVID-19 infection rate would have been much higher.

There are currently 1749 confirmed cases in the country - with 13 deaths.

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