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Ban on cigarettes could be reinstated says government

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The state cannot promise that there will not be another temporary ban on the sale of cigarettes and if there is another move towards a stricter restriction, it will have to be considered.

The state attorneys responded in a letter this week to the conditions set by the Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) to withdraw its court case against the state.

Fita’s court case against the government over the ban on the sale of cigarettes has progressed to the appeal court in Bloemfontein.

Fita set certain conditions in a letter on Monday before withdrawing it’s court case.

This follows after the parties that brought court cases against the government over the state of restraint on Sunday by the legal team of dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, has been asked to withdraw their court cases because Level 2 of the restriction has arrived.

Dlamini-Zuma wants to avoid costly lawsuits over the question of whether the ban is legal, after the temporary ban was lifted.

However, the state only wants to partially meet Fita’s conditions to drop its court case.

One of Fita’s conditions is that a temporary ban will not be imposed again if the country moves back to a stricter restriction.

“Our client cannot agree to the condition. This is not because they intend to reintroduce the temporary ban at a later stage, but simply to agree to it would amount to an inadmissible and illegal obstruction of the Minister’s discretion under the Disaster Management Act, ”Says the state’s legal representatives.

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