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BATSA, Cogta’s fight over lifted ban on tobacco sales continues

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On Tuesday, BATSA voiced its disappointment after Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was granted leave to appeal the Western Cape High Court’s ruling that the lockdown ban on tobacco sales was unconstitutional and invalid.

Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at a media briefing in Pretoria on 17 August 2020. Picture: @GCISMedia/Twitter

CAPE TOWN – The fight over whether government’s move to impose the ban on tobacco sales continues.

On Tuesday, British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA) voiced its disappointment after Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was granted leave to appeal the Western Cape High Court’s ruling that the lockdown ban on tobacco sales was unconstitutional and invalid.

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In December, four months after the ban was lifted, BATSA was successful with a strong judgment delivered in their favour.

Now, the tobacco company will continue to fight government in court and is confident that the Supreme Court of Appeal will uphold the High Court’s judgment and rule in their favour.

READ MORE: BATSA confident SCA will uphold ruling on lockdown tobacco sales

BATSA’s Johnny Moloto said: “We are even surprised that the minister has appealed, not only because of her limited course of success but the case no longer has any relevance as it has been now almost six months since the ban was lifted.”

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ALSO READ: Batsa: Armed theft of cigarettes increasing, fueling illicit trade

Meanwhile, the South Africa Tobacco Transformation Alliance said initial court ruling in December made sound legal and common sense.

It said it was no secret that the illicit market grew by a staggering 3 billion cigarettes during the lockdown year.

The body said this now created yet another shadow of uncertainty over law-abiding tobacco producers and consumers, as it was yet another shot in the arm for those who run organised criminal tobacco networks.

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