The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association’s (FITA) court bid challenging the cigarette ban has been dismissed by North Gauteng High Court.
FITA took government to court after government reversed the decision to allow the selling of tobacco during lockdown.
The North Gauteng High Court dismissed FITA’s application with cost.
FITA wanted the court to declare cigarettes essential on the basis that tobacco is addictive.
However the court has ruled that this has no merit.
The Court said that cigarettes and other tobacco products do not, by their nature, fall into the same category as goods which are life-sustaining or necessary for basic functionality.
The Court said it is satisfied that Minister Dlamini-Zuma made her cigarette ban decision objectively, after considering “relevant” medical material and reports.
According to reports FITA is set to appeal the judgement.
Meanwhile, the second legal challenge to the ban on cigarette sales will now only be heard on August 4.
This after state lawyers appealed to Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe.
British American Tobacco said this is a delay in justice.
Adding that time the case is heard the ban will have been in place for four-and-half months during which time billions of illegal cigarettes will have been sold.
— Karyn Maughan (@karynmaughan) June 26, 2020