- Jessie Duarte has spoken out against those who criticise Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and her ban on cigarettes
- She slammed tobacco companies for making people ill
- Duarte also praised Dlamini-Zuma for what she had done for the country
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ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte has come out swinging in the minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta), Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's defence.
Durate has accused the tobacco industry of making people ill through their cigarettes and other products. She also praised Dlamini-Zuma for what she has done for the country.
Briefly.co.za reported that this comes as members of the national command council have been accused of supporting Dlamini-Zuma's continued ban on the sale of cigarettes and alcohol.
People have also suspected Dlamini-Zuma is being behind the government's sudden decision to ban cigarettes as the country moved to lockdown level 4.
Duarte defended Dlamini-Zuma and said the attacks were unfair.
“I wish to protest against the attack on minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma by what is clearly a well-orchestrated tobacco industry trying to make sure we are driven into a deeper crisis during a period when we are facing a health crisis that attacks people's respiratory organs,” said Duarte.
“Here is an industry who over years have exploited the health of many people across the world. And today they find it easy to chain up petitions and ask people to sign and believe that is how one removes a minister of state.”
A petition for the removal of Dlamini-Zuma was started on Friday night and has already garnered over 116 000 signatures according to the Sowetan Live.
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The petition may have ignited Duarte's fury and mobilised her to defend Dlamini-Zuma.
“As far as I am concerned, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has done more for this country than the tobacco industry will do for any country anywhere in the world other than making people ill,” Duarte went on.
“So why don't you back off and allow us as a country and a nation to make a democratic choice and decide who we want as our leadership? And we have done so, we chose her [Dlamini-Zuma] and we certainly cannot be choosing the tobacco industry.”
In other news, Briefly.co.za reported that Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has told the National Coronavirus Command Council that the sale of tobacco and alcohol products should be banned until Level 1 lockdown.
News24 reports that Dlamini-Zuma's motion was supported by Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi when she voiced her opinion.
The minister reportedly feels that allowing the sale of cigarettes and alcohol on June 1 when SA migrates to Level 3 would pose too much of a health risk, despite immense pressure to unban the products.
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