Has the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the fragility of South Africa’s constitutional democracy?Posted: 23 July, 2020 Filed under: Paul Mudau | Tags: apartheid-era, Bill of Rights, Collins Khoza, constitutional democracy, coronavirus, COVID-19, COVID-19 pandemic, Cyril Ramaphosa, democracy, Disaster Management Act, extraordinary legal measures, Gary Pienaar, isolation measures, lockdown, lockdown regulations, National Disaster Management Centre, nationwide lockdown, pandemic, PCCC, South Africa, state of emergency, Table of Non-Derogable Rights 3 Comments
Author: Paul Mudau
PhD Candidate and Researcher, School of Law, University of the Witwatersrand
On 15 March 2020, and while owing to medical and scientific advice and with the aim of controlling and managing the invasion and the spread of the invisible enemy, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa introduced extraordinary legal measures, placed the country under a nationwide lockdown and sealed its international borders. The lockdown took effect from 27 March 2020. The President simultaneously declared a national state of disaster in terms of section 27 of the Disaster Management Act (52 of 2002). Apart from the 1996 Constitution, the Disaster Management Act is applicable during lockdown together with other relevant statutes such as the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 and Prevention of Combating and Torture of Persons Act 13 of 2013. This, was followed by a series of announcements and impositions of numerous lockdown Regulations and Directives that require hygienic practices, physical and social distancing, quarantine, and isolation measures.