The case has been brought by Fair Trade Tobacco Association (Fita) which seeks to have the ban on tobacco sales declared unlawful and irrational.
According to IOL the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria will today hear the court action by Fita. They are challenging the legality of the continued ban of the sale of tobacco products during the lockdown.
The case is expected to be heard by a full bench of the High Court on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The state attorney on the matter has twice requested that the court case be postponed as Minister Dlamini Zuma needed more time to include evidence of why the continued ban of tobacco was for public health purposes.
The minister cited that the government had received 2000 petitions calling for the ban of tobacco to continue under lockdown level 4.
The ban was then continued under lockdown level 3 with the government giving scientific reasons for the continued ban.
Fita Chairman, Sinenhlanhla Mnguni argues that Regulation 27 of the then Level 4 and now Level 3 was “self-evidently irrational” saying it ignored a significant number of people who have tried to have their views heard on the matter.
“The regulation is exacerbating the already trying circumstances for millions of South African citizens who are already emotionally fragile and causing increased stress for them.”Mnguni said.
The DA leader John Steenhuisen has called for President Cyril Rhamaphosa to sack Minister Nkosozana Dlamini-Zuma for lying about her reason behind the continued ban on the sale of tobacco.
“According to Fita, the applicants in the case, there weren’t more than 2000 submissions attached as evidence. Instead, there were only 1,535 submissions and of these, 47.2% had nothing to do with cigarette smoking, 23.3% were in favour of smoking and only 29.6% supported the ban, which amounts to 454 submissions,” Steenhuisen said.
Steenhuisen went on to claim that the minister was “clearly” lying to South Africans in order to further her own pre-determined agenda.
Source: IOL, Citizen