Foreign Affairs
South African Court decides restrictions are unconstitutional

A court in South Africa has decreed that some of the restrictions imposed by the Government to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 are invalid and unconstitutional.

South Africa has imposed what are among the strictest restrictions in the world. These include a ban on the sales of cigarettes and alcohol. Protests have been held in front of the Parliament building in recent days, with protesters wanting to be allowed to purchase cigarettes after nine weeks of prohibition.

The Liberty Fighters Network group instituted a constitutional case against the South African Government in protest against the measures announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The Court in the capital Pretoria decreed that the restrictions do not have a direct link with reducing the spread of Covid-19. The Court, however, has suspended sentencing for 14 days, to allow Government to review the restrictions.

The Cabinet said it will review them, but the restrictions will remain in force for the present. On 1 May, after a month on lockdown, the country reduced the level of alert from 5 to 4. This was then reduced to level 3 on 3 June.

Alcohol went on sale again last week, after having been unavailable for two months. Groups of people together are still prohibited, unless attending funerals or for work purposes. Travel between provinces is also prohibited, and all international flights have been cancelled, except for repatriation purposes.

South Africa has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the African continent, with some 30,000 infections and 700 deaths to date.

See also:

Watch: Sale of alcohol resumes in South Africa

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