“Once it is accepted [as it must be] that the ban cannot be shown to have the effect of stopping smoking, there cannot be any possible basis for the ban,” Fita CEO Sinenhlanhla Mnguni said in an affidavit filed with the Supreme Court of Appeal on Tuesday.
Fita said the basis for and validity of the lockdown regulation imposing the ban needed to be assessed within the boundaries of the enabling legislation and “proper” interpretation of the Disaster Management Act.
The association's appeal comes amid rumblings that if President Cyril Ramaphosa moves SA to alert level 2 this weekend, tobacco and alcohol sales bans may be lifted.
Multinational and domestic tobacco giants have been at odds with co-operative governance & traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and the state over the prohibition.
Mnguni said Dlamini-Zuma had continued to disregard the need to give “due and proper” weight to issues of fundamental importance such as “far-reaching economic, physical, psychological and social considerations”.
He said the high court had failed to have due regard for expert evidence which pointed to the “serious shortcomings” in the minister’s approach.