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No backing down: Fita to move ahead with tobacco ban court challenge

16 August 2020 10:35 AM
Tags:
SCA
Fita
Tobacco Ban
Sinenhlanhla Mnguni
Fita court challenge
Fita chairperson

The Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) will persist with its legal action despite the government's decision to lift the tobacco ban under level 2.

Fita chairperson Sinenhlanhla Mnguni says the association will proceed with its appeal against the High Court decision to dismiss its court bid to have the cigarette ban overturned.

On Saturday, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) granted Fita leave to appeal its failed court challenge.

RELATED: Supreme Court grants Fita leave to appeal failed tobacco ban challenge

Last night, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa would move to level 2 lockdown on Tuesday.

The ban on tobacco products will be lifted under level 2.

However, Mnguni says Fita still needs some legal clarity on several matters outlined in their court application.

He says the damage to the tobacco sector has been devastating, right across the value chain.

RELATED: South Africa moves to lockdown level 2 from Tuesday - here's what that means

"The Disaster Management Act hasn't really been tested by the higher courts", he tells CapeTalk's Zain Johnson.

Mguni adds that South Africa could return to tougher lockdown regulations if the management of Covid-19 changes.

The court challenge gave us hope and we were quite confident that we would succeed in the long term.

Sinenhlanhla Mnguni, Chairperson - Fair-trade Independent Tobacco Association

On Saturday, we received an order from the Supreme Court of Appeal granting us leave to appeal the decision which was made by the full bench of the Pretoria High Court which initially dismissed our application for the lifting of the ban.

Sinenhlanhla Mnguni, Chairperson - Fair-trade Independent Tobacco Association

As things stand, [we will definitely be continuing with the court case]... There's a number of things which we raised in our application which we feel still have to be ventilated before the SCA.

Sinenhlanhla Mnguni, Chairperson - Fair-trade Independent Tobacco Association

Mnguni says Fita welcome's the level 2 announcement, however, the industry is waiting for the official government notice.

He says the tobacco sector won't get its hopes up again until the regulations are gazetted.

We welcome the President's announcement of the lifting of the ban... but we are not getting too excited just yet.

Sinenhlanhla Mnguni, Chairperson - Fair-trade Independent Tobacco Association

We've been here before on the 23rd of April when the President made a similar announcement... we are yet to see the regulations. Until then, we're very cautious in terms of our approach going forward.

Sinenhlanhla Mnguni, Chairperson - Fair-trade Independent Tobacco Association

There's been no efforts from the government to even give us an ear... We've been in the dark... Government had not told us anything and there haven't been measures put in place to assist the industry.

Sinenhlanhla Mnguni, Chairperson - Fair-trade Independent Tobacco Association

Listen to the discussion on Weekend Breakfast:




16 August 2020 10:35 AM
Tags:
SCA
Fita
Tobacco Ban
Sinenhlanhla Mnguni
Fita court challenge
Fita chairperson

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