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Tobacco Ban: Dlamini Zuma Served with Lawyer’s Letter by Afriforum

A lawyer’s letter has been served by AfriForum on the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, and Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkize. The letter requests that the smoking ban be lifted by June 1 and threatens further legal action by Afriforum if the ban is not lifted next week.

AfriForum’s head of policy and action, Ernst Roets, said that claims that Dlamini Zuma was friends with cigarette trader, Adriano Mazzotti, concerned him. There have been, since the outset of the lockdown and the associated tobacco ban, allegations that Dlamini Zuma and Mazzotti were friends. Dlamini Zuma has denied this. IOL reports that when questioned by an MP whether the government was motivated by possible links to the cigarette smuggling underworld in insisting on the ban, Dlamini Zuma replied in the negative and said the decision was motivated by health benefits.

Roets added that there was no rational basis for the ban and that the government was violating the public’s civil rights by maintaining secrecy regarding the issue.

He said, “AfriForum doesn’t fight for smoking; we fight for freedom: Freedom for the community to not be subjected to preposterous regulations.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday announced that alcohol could be sold from June 1, when the country moves into Level 3 of the national lockdown, but that the sale of tobacco products would remain prohibited.

Umm Muhammed Umar

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