Judgment reserved in Fita leave to appeal dismissal of tobacco case
Judgment has been reserved in an application by the Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) to appeal the dismissal of its case against government’s decision to prohibit the sale tobacco products during the lockdown.
Last month, Fita lost its application to the Pretoria High Court after arguing that tobacco products should be considered essential goods.
Fita chairman Sinenhlanhla Mnguni says they relied on ten grounds on which to appeal the decision.
One of the reasons we felt it was necessary for the court to grant us leave to appeal was the fact that this matter is of such public importance at this stage.Sinenhlanhla Mnguni, Chairperson - Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association
The adjudication of this matter is very key to how regulations surrounding the disaster management act are going to be dealt with going forward...Sinenhlanhla Mnguni, Chairperson - Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association
We then deal with the rationality of the decision in the fact that the minister for instance overlooked compelling medical evidence which showed no link between smoking and the spread of the virus which is something the court did not delve into.Sinenhlanhla Mnguni, Chairperson - Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association
We then dealt with the criminilising of the conduct in that South Africans are now being turned into criminals for buying a substance which is in essence illegal.Sinenhlanhla Mnguni, Chairperson - Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association
Meanwhile the South African Tobacco Transformation Alliance (SATTA) has launched its own campaign to have government end the ban on tobacco product sales.
SATTA spokesperson Zacharia Motsumi says the ban is a threat to livelihoods.
We came up with this petition to put more pressure on government to lift the tobacco ban as this has a potential threat to 296 000 livelihoods. It is also jeopardising our economy.Zacharia Motsumi, Spokesperson - South African Tobacco Transformation Alliance (SATTA)
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