High Court dismisses bid to declare command council unconstitutional

High Court dismisses bid to declare command council unconstitutional

The Western Cape High Court has dismissed an application to declare the National Coronavirus Command Council unconstitutional and invalid. 

NCCC media briefing 28 May

Judgment was handed down on Friday after government was dragged to court over the validity of the decisions taken by the council.

Judge Rosheni Allie wrote in her ruling that the inconvenience and discontent caused by regulations are outweighed against the urgent constitutional duty to save lives.

“I accept that the measures do not satisfy everyone and there is a great deal of criticism levelled against them,” the judgment reads.

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“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.

“That is the nature of the proportionality exercise which government has had to embark upon.”

The applicants argued that the NCCC has no legal validity or decision-making powers.

They say only the president and cabinet is constitutionally mandated to perform the duties undertaken by the council.

But the court disagreed with the applicants’ interpretation of the National Disaster Management Act.

“I cannot conceive of an argument by applicant which is more destructive of their assertion that they bring this application in terms of section 38(d) of the Constitution, namely, that they act in the public interest than their argument that Regulation 19 suspending execution of eviction orders, serve to amend existing legislation and is therefore unlawful,” the judgement adds.

Allie says there is a rational link between the measures and its purpose.

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