Image via: Adobe Stock
Image via: Adobe Stock
Civil rights organisation Liberty Fighters Network (LFN) head to court today to submit their application against Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Nkozasana Dlamini-Zuma, who they believe violated a previous court ruling declaring certain aspects of the Level 3 lockdown restrictions unconstitutional.
The LFN group is supported at the Pretoria High Court on Tuesday by church members and individuals who are opposed to the wearing of masks and the rolling out of vaccines, and according to the court papers they submitted last week are seeking to have Dlamini-Zuma jailed for six months, with the scrapping of mandatory mask-wearing laws among some of their other demands.
According to LFN president Reyno De Beer the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) has flouted previous ruling that deemed lockdown laws during levels 3 and 4 invalid, and said last week that government is not communicating the specifics of the National State of Disaster clearly enough.
“We do have the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) challenge still and that is the reason why we are taking the minister to court for contempt of court,” he said. “We will challenge this up to the end – we are going to court to challenge the latest restrictions as well.”
“It is time that the people must know what is going on. The government should have paid for all the medical expenses, the funeral expenses of COVID-19 related incidents, which never occurred. The disaster in terms of the definition of the Disaster Management Act has not been complied with from the beginning,” he said.
The matter will once again be heard by Judge Norman Davis, who ruled on the matter last year too.
Dlamini-Zuma denies that she is in contempt of the court ruling, saying in a letter issued on 2 January 2021 that entirely new regulations were issued on 29 December to govern Level 3 lockdown measures.
“The effect is that each of the six specific level 3 regulations that the high court declared unconstitutional and invalid have now either been repealed or replaced by new regulations (as of December 29),” the State attorney said in the letter.
While those supporting the LFN’s case are ardently opposed to laws demanding that masks be worn in all public spaces, Sean Goss – a member of the group – said on Tuesday that today’s application was merely a scheduled fixture on the group’s endeavour to fight the regulations, and that it is not a protest of any kind.
“We are simply going to court in support of the application. We will most definitely also not tell people not to wear masks,” he said.