Judge dismisses SAB case against booze ban
SAB's attempts to have the government's alcohol sales ban overturned was dismissed by the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.
The company had gone to court to request that the sales ban — implemented under lockdown level 4 — be set aside.
It argued, among other things, that co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s power under the Disaster Management Act (DMA) did not include the power to “override or repeal existing legislation”.
It also argued that the fourth ban on alcohol sales in 18 months was unsubstantiated by robust scientific evidence — and that the minister's decision to promulgate the regulations was procedurally unfair or procedurally irrational because she did not consult them and other key stakeholders in the alcohol industry before the regulations were implemented.
However, high court judge Robert Henney dismissed the application, along with the costs of three legal counsel.
Henney said that because of the speed at which the government needed to act given the transmissibility of the Covid-19 Delta variant, it could not be argued that Dlamini-Zuma acted in an unfair or unprocedural manner.
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