Why this case?

The Disaster Management Act was abused for months during 2020 and 2021 to enforce draconian police-state conditions on the public, with arbitrary measures such as banning the sales of alcohol and hot chicken. Lockdowns imposed by the central government caused enormous damage to business environments, economies and the social order. This should not happen again, and litigation even following the state of disaster can establish a legal precedent to prevent a repetition.

Sakeliga therefore is proceeding with a court application in the Pretoria High Court to prevent the Disaster Management Act from being abused in the future to enforce draconian measures by proclaiming regulations. In addition, Sakeliga specifically wants to avoid the repeated extension of a state of disaster without objectively there being a disaster. Among other things, Sakeliga also requests that the National Disaster Management Centre’s failure for several months to determine whether Covid-19 meets the definition of a “disaster”, be declared unlawful and unconstitutional and that a “national state of disaster” may not be extended in the absence of a classification by the National Disaster Management Centre of a situation as an objective “disaster” and “national disaster”.

Case details

Status: Active

Case commenced: 11 March 2022

High Court: Pretoria

Next court date: 


​15 December 2022
​The government files a deficient rule 53 record of decision-making.
10 September 2022
Sakeliga sends a final letter of demand to the respondents to hand over records about their classification process of the Covid-19 "national disaster". Under the applicable court rules, the respondents were obliged to file a complete record of decision-making in respect of all decisions contested in the case. The respondents remain, six months later, in default of handing over the records. ​
6 April 2022Sakeliga instructs its legal team to proceed with the case, despite the apparent termination of the national disaster by the Minister of Cooperative Governance. Sakeliga wants to proactively prevent future transgressions, as have been sustained over 2 years.
4 April 2022​Government ends disaster in name while clinging to permanent powers.
11 March 2022​Sakeliga files founding court papers and the litigation commences.



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