Lockdown charges could be withdrawn, says legal expert

Lockdown charges could be withdrawn, says legal expert

Legal expert Ulrich Roux says the time has come for the government to take South Africans into its confidence.


This after government suffered a legal setback when the High Court in Pretoria declared levels 4 and 3 of the lockdown regulations unconstitutional and invalid.


However, the regulations will remain in place for the next 14 days while government is given an opportunity to remedy the situation.


The court also directed Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, in consultation with the relevant ministers, to review, amend and republish the regulations.

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Roux believes it would be better for government not to appeal the ruling.


"I think it would be a very short-sighted move for government if they were to appeal.


"I think they need to take the 14 days, they need to be guided by the judgment and they need to take guidance in order to bring the regulations in line with the constitution.”


Roux says charges laid during the lockdown may be withdrawn depending on the changes to the regulations.


"if severe amendments are made which a person was arrested for under the previous regulations then certainly those charges will be withdrawn.


"But our acts do not work retrospectively. In other words, if someone is arrested for an infringement today and tomorrow the regulations change then, unfortunately, there are no grounds to take actions against the state because at the time that the infringement was committed it was an infringement in terms of the law.”

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