The Constitutional Court on Wednesday dismissed the DA’s application for direct access in challenging the constitutionality of the Disaster Management Act.
The court ruled that it would not be in the interests of justice to hear the matter.
“It has concluded that the application should be dismissed as it is not in the interests of justice to hear it at this stage. The Court has decided not to award costs,” the judgment reads.
The DA argued to the court that its application raised “fundamental questions” about the separation of powers between parliament and the executive.
“The nation is living through extraordinary times, and the executive’s response to the pandemic, making use of Section 27 of the Act, raises urgent issues of profound constitutional importance about whether that section is constitutionally compliant.”
DA interim leader John Steenhuisen argued that the Act gave Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma wide powers.
Steenhuisen said the Act allowed for the unconstitutional delegation of parliament’s powers to the executive, and gave Dlamini-Zuma “exceedingly broad powers”.
In response, President Cyril Ramaphosa and government asked the court to not grant the DA direct access.
In court papers filed on 19 May, Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma argued that the DA’s application was not urgent and did not warrant the Constitutional Court’s truncated time periods.
They further argued that the Act does not usurp the role of parliament.