Early in June Advocate Arnold Subel, for FITA, called the ban on tobacco sales irrational, draconian and an act of cruelty. Today the matter was back in court unfortunately for smokers, it was postponed to the beginning of the month of July.

FITA calls on President Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene, as they believe that this is a blatant attempt for Dlamini Zuma to openly support organised crime and her son’s business interests of illegal cigarette trade.

The ban of tobacco was implemented by government at the start of lockdown, over 90 days ago. South Africa is the only country now still left wih the cigarettes ban decision.

Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamin-Zuma seems to be determined to keep the ban in place despite a lack of scientific evidence to prove that smoking increases the severity of COVID-19.

“The poorest of the poor are the ones suffering the most because instead of spending money on hygiene and sanitation, improving the quality of life and buying food they will be paying black market prices now for these banned substances.

That’s the world we’ve been driven into now and when spaza shops keep begging ‘please relax it because it’s destroying our businesses,’ it falls on deaf ears.”- FITA Advocate Arnold Subel.

Advocate Marumo Moerane, arguing on behalf of Minister Dlamini-Zuma, said his client acted in accordance with the powers that the Disaster Management Act gave her.

By: Monti Montsha