Business organisation Sakeliga has requested Ministers Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Bheki Cele to halt lockdown-related arrests and reveal their revised standing orders to the police.
Sakeliga’s request follows judge Norman Davis’s refusal last week to grant the state leave to appeal his declaration of unconstitutionality of Regulation 48(2) of the lockdown regulations, in the Liberty Fighters Network-matter. Regulation 48(2) provides (or provided) for the criminalisation of contravention of certain lockdown regulations, such as the sale of tobacco and dispensing of liquor. Judge Davis however suspended the declaration of invalidity until 14 July 2020, offering government time to remedy invalid regulations.
The judgment in the application for leave to appeal is nevertheless clear that the regulations mentioned in paragraph 2 of the judgment, which includes regulation 48 (2), will no longer be subject to suspension if they are not remedied by 14 July 2020. Sakeliga has been advised that in event of such failure to remedy, the regulations would be deemed void and not open to revival.
Piet le Roux, CEO of Sakeliga says that “Sakeliga supports the declaration of invalidity of the relevant lockdown regulations, but is concerned at the unclarity of whether COGTA and SAPS intend to suspend arrests, remedy the regulations, or whether they take a different legal view of the matter. As a result, businesspersons, employees, and members of the public in general might come in conflict with the SAPS in situations of law enforcement, due to bona fide disagreements on interpretation. Such disagreements could easily lead to unlawful arrests and further consequences, which neither the public nor government can afford, and which we should take care to avoid.”
Sakeliga requested Ministers Dlamini-Zuma and Cele to provide an undertaking that
- The SAPS will communicate to all its members that no person may be arrested for failing to comply with the lockdown regulations; and
- The SAPS undertake to immediately circulate to members updated standing orders regarding the application and enforcement of the lockdown regulations / measures as a consequence of the declaration of invalidity, and that a copy of such standing orders be provided to Sakeliga.
For a copy of Sakeliga’s letter, click here.