Tobacco ban: FITA taking legal challenge to Supreme Court of Appeal

Tobacco ban: FITA taking legal challenge to Supreme Court of Appeal

- The Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association's appeal over the lockdown ban has been dismissed

- The Pretoria High Court opted against revisiting the legal challenge over the controversial tobacco prohibition

- FITA will now be taking the matter to the Supreme Court of Appeal as it seeks to overturn the ban on cigarette sales

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The Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association has been met with another court loss on Friday.

The Pretoria High Court has dismissed the appeal lodged by FITA in its challenge over the tobacco regulations imposed by the National Coronavirus Command Council.

FITA chairperson, Sinenhlanhla Mnguni, has confirmed the entity's plan to file a petition with the Supreme Court of Appeal, unwilling to give up its battle to see the ban overturned.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma previously argued that FITA was purely pursuing financial bans with its case over the ban.

With the ban bloating black market trade, the government is set to lose millions in tax revenues due to the decision.

Minister Dlamini-Zuma argued that FITA was driven by financial gain. Image: GCIS
Source: UGC

READ ALSO: Report: Most smokers aren't quitting during ban, paying more instead

The industry has retaliated by claiming the government has no solid scientific backing to justify the regulations which have put countless jobs on the line in an already unstable economy.

Earlier, reported that the government had raised a few eyebrows when it claimed that both the tobacco and alcohol bans would remain in place for the remainder of the Covid-19 lockdown.

This had come despite President Cyril Ramaphosa's earlier promise that neither prohibitions were permanent and would be reviewed at a later stage of the lockdown.

The government has since backtracked from its earlier statement, insisting that neither bans are permanent and are subject to review at any point in time.

The lockdown regulations have been met with fierce public resistance as smokers turn to illicit means of obtaining these goods.

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