Covid-19 update: Cele hints at booze ban return, tobacco battle begins

Covid-19 update: Cele hints at booze ban return, tobacco battle begins

The legal battle over the lockdown ban on tobacco products kicked off in the Pretoria High Court on Wednesday. explores the latest updates on the Covid-19 pandemic in SA.

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The tobacco ban trial has begun with opening arguments heard on Wednesday, while Minister Bheki Cele hinted at a return of the liquor prohibition. explores the latest updates as the nation continues to battle the virus:

1. Heated battle over tobacco ban sees FITA and Dlamini-Zuma facing off

The Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma are squaring off over the controversial tobacco ban on Tuesday.

The opponents spent the morning delivering their arguments over the government's cigarette prohibition amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Defending FITA, Arnold Subel slammed Dlamini-Zuma for her 'dismal failure' to adequately explain the prohibition of tobacco products:

“If government restricts what is otherwise legal, then criminalise it and outlaw it. The regulator should provide a rational basis behind such a measure. The Minister should provide reasons and she has failed dismally. Dlamini-Zuma’s agenda is to get people to quit smoking – but is this ever going to be successful?”

2. African Covid-19 survivor shares his journey beating the virus

Ogbeni Olawale Dawodu Snr on Monday, June 8, narrated how he survived coronavirus. He said his intense struggle with the virus started on Monday, May 18, after he was rushed to the Asokoro Special Treatment Clinic.

The man added that he had to wait for some minutes for doctors, saying the wait may probably be to buy time for the doctors to get into their PPEs.

Olawale said that he was gasping for breath when he got in as the officials asked him If they should aide him with a wheelchair.

The man said the condition of the hospital was very clean and in a good state that one would think the place he was assigned was a hotel room.

3. Bheki Cele hints at alcohol ban coming back as murders spike

Minister of Police Bheki Cele has reported that there has been a spike in the number reported deaths since the lockdown was eased on 1 June.

The minister revealed this in a press briefing at the Jabulani Hostel in Soweto on Tuesday. South African Police Services launched a manhunt after gunmen killed six people at the Jabulani Hostel on Monday night.

During his briefing, Cele mentioned two women who were killed this week in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Condolences poured in for Naledi Phangindawo (25) and Tshegofatsho Pule (28) who were both killed this week.

Phangindawo was allegedly hacked to death by a man close to her. Pule was found hanging from a tree in Roodepoort after she went missing on Thursday.

The brutally murdered Pule was also eight months pregnant. The minister, who has been very vocal about his anti-alcohol stance, used the press briefing to air his views about the sale of liquor. Cele said the murder rate has gone up since the alcohol banned was lifted 10 days ago.

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