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Events company owner threatens to take government to court over 'draconian' lockdown

The events company is threatening to take Cyril Ramaphosa to court
The events company is threatening to take Cyril Ramaphosa to court
Image: 123RF/stockstudio44

An events company owner has threatened to head to the Constitutional Court if President Cyril Ramaphosa extends the Covid-19 lockdown beyond April 30.

In a letter addressed to Ramaphosa and all government departments, Clinton Baratt, the owner of Happy Events SA, said he would go to the apex court to challenge the president's “draconian” measures and “excessive abuse of power”.

“I have the full right to approach a competent court if I believe my rights have been infringed. This is all in the RSA constitution,” said Baratt, who says he needs to be able to work to earn an income.

He said he would challenge, among others, the regulation that prohibits travelling between provinces.

“I have the right to freedom of movement. I have family and friends in another province. I have to go to another province on May 1 to look for work. I cannot keep staying at my house longer,” Baratt said.

Baratt slammed the R350 special unemployment grant announced by the president on Tuesday night.

“We need to earn an income. And R350 a month is nothing. We can't do anything with that,” he said.

Rights infringements under lockdown, he said, included the government's intention to deploy 75,000 soldiers on the streets and the ban on cigarettes and alcohol.

“I personally believe this Covid-19 does not warrant martial law and these excessive draconian measures. At least ease the restrictions. After hearing President Ramaphosa's speech [on Thursday evening] we will then inform the government if we will be taking them to the highest court in the land, as we definitely have legal basis to do so,” Baratt said.

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