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Fita's leave to appeal application ruling delayed

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The North Gauteng High Court heard the Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association’s (Fita) application for leave to appeal on Wednesday. 

The court is expected to rule on the application next week, Fita chairman Sinenhlanhla Mnguni said.

Fita has applied for leave to appeal directly to the Supreme Court of Appeal. This follows after a full bench of judges, including Dunstan Mlambo, the Gauteng judicial president, rejected their application to set aside the ban.

The court ruled in favor of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Minister of Cooperative Governance’s legal arguments.

However, Fita argued that the logical basis on which the ban is based, namely to prevent health services from being overwhelmed with smokers who have severe Covid-19 symptoms, falls away if the population continues to smoke.

A Study submitted to the court showed that 90% of smokers have continued to smoke since the sale of cigarettes was banned on 27 March.

Fita argues the ban is irrational and therefore invalid.

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