Covid-19 lockdown day 69 – lockdown declared illegal by the courts in South Africa
In a truly unusual turn of events in the past 24 hours or so, the highest court of the land here in selective South Africa, has declared the government’s lockdown, at least level 4 and 3, as unconstitutional in its application. The Constitutional Court is the highest court in the land and has a record of being one of the best, in that it is based on a progressive and mature Constitution of South Africa. What does this mean? Is the government up against the nations law courts? It would seem so. This may be over sooner that we thought.
In 1994, when Nelson Mandela liberated the nation from Apartheid and instituted the first ever democracy here, an evolved and fair constitution was implemented, and it has been the final say in the land ever since. The lower courts will battle out any case, but if needed the case will go to the higher courts and then eventually to the Constitutional court if it is worthy. Well the main opposition party in parliament has just filed a case against the government for their procedure of implementing a level 4 and 3 lockdown, and won.
Actually numerous groups got together to file this emergency court case, not against the government as a whole, but specifically against the small executive body of about seven ministers who now run the country under the current “state of catastrophe” or “disaster” as it may be called. This executive, the NCCC National Covid Command Council, have been meeting behind closed doors and implementing illogical and absurd laws now under lockdown and it appears that huge backlash has followed. These elites can apparently do whatever they choose, without consulting the rest of the government, and without giving any reason at all, under this lockdown and pandemic. They have become a law unto themselves in the nation, amassing huge executive power, and the people don’t like it.
It’s not the fact that we may have needed a lockdown during a pandemic that is being questioned. The ministers all accept that lockdown in the state of pandemic was legitimate, but the follow up of lighter lockdown under level 4 and 3 were hotly contested, particularly the draconian or illogical laws, and that is their case in court. Like why is alcohol banned, and even worse, why is all tobacco sales banned? Has any other nation in the world done this? And what is the rationale?
The court concluded that the application of these odd laws in general, is at fault, especially since they transgress the constitutional human rights of the citizens, and the court has given the government executive body 14 days to do something about it. That was yesterday, so in theory the law has triumphed and we should see a total dissolving of the “lockdown lite” that we now find ourselves in. By mid month this could all be over. I won’t hold my breathe though. These politicians are a law unto themselves.
The truth is that the son of the minister now running the country and the executive body, is not the president, but another veteran, the wife of the previous president (ex-wife divorced) and her son happens to run a massive illegal cigarette smuggling operation, or something like that, and this minister and her family of nepotists are now making a fat killing on the sale of illegal cigarettes all over the country at 4x or more the original price of a packet of smokes. They have put millions of the citizens into distress and suffering by removing their addiction and then selling the backstop at hugely inflated mark-up on the black market. This is practically the vice president of the country we are talking about. She might be the next president in fact.
So that is how rotten this state of the nation happens to be here in suspicious South Africa today, as the elite rake in profit by the millions while driving the millions nutty. A tobacco addict without their fix is not a pretty sight, nor is it a pretty place to find yourself. Now this woman is the most hated creature in the land right now, and the courts of law have caught up with her. But will she capitulate? I wonder. I bet that all over the world politicians have exploited this pandemic and lockdown to the max, in unique and varying ways according to each nation’s unique system and culture. What a farce. I don’t approve of tobacco or cigarettes but in principle the ban as well as other illogical laws, force me to side with the courts and the masses in this case.
The economic collapse, the curfews, the job losses, all of that, could have been managed so much better if the elite executive of seven who now run our country with zero accountability, had been more above board and behaved like real servants of the people, instead of enriching themselves by torturing us. It is abuse and it is against the constitutional human rights, which are now clashing with the emergency. And the human rights won. Let’s see if they back down in the 14 days that the law courts and judge has given the executive body to rectify their management of the lockdown.
I will keep you informed. Now under level 3 liquor is freely available at retail stores (no restaurants or bars at all yet) except on weekends, but tobacco is still totally banned, and this is going to make more and more people more and more edgy by the day. It is going to take them closer to the edge, and they will find their tipping point pretty soon. Give them their alcohol to loosen them up and infect their brains, and they will start demanding that cigarette and it could get messy. As if it could get any worse. Well it could. Let’s see where this goes. As for the executive council, they appear to be above the law, and will likely not see any retribution, except maybe at the voting booths of the next election. We can but hope. Though that is a few years away. Certainly within the next 13 days something must shift. The law has decreed it. Our politicians have been found wanting by the law, and that is why we split up the power in any democracy. You have the presidency, the parliament and the judiciary, so that they can balance each other out and not allow too much power to fall into the hands of just one small group, which could lead to a dictatorship. And the dictatorship is going on right now, without regulation, except for the one loophole of this judicial finding and statement against it. Let’s hope the system can uphold the standard and this episode of concern resumes a degree of normality or at least sensibility. There may be hope for us yet. With the nation theoretically at war with itself right now, anything is possible.