Lockdown cigarette ban 'does not withstand constitutional scrutiny', says WC high court
The government’s decision to ban the sale of cigarettes during the country’s Covid-19 lockdown has been declared unconstitutional.
The Western Cape High Court on Friday ruled that regulation 45 of the Disaster Management Act — under which the cigarette prohibition was put in place — “cannot and does not withstand constitutional scrutiny”.
The court also ruled that the regulation was not necessary, and did not further the objectives of the legislation.
The ruling was in favour of British American Tobacco, and others, in their case against Cogta minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, President Cyril Ramaphosa and the national coronavirus command council.
The court ruled that each party should pay their own costs because the prohibition on the ban had already been lifted, and because the government was dealing with something completely new and, therefore, had to act swiftly even as science and knowledge were developing.