Amid the deluge of litigation the SA government is facing over its Covid-19 lockdown regulations, there is one case that arguably poses the biggest threat to public faith in the state’s reasonableness and rationality: the legal challenge to the cigarette ban.

SA is reportedly one of three countries in the world, together with India and Botswana, to oppose the sale of cigarettes during the lockdown. And the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) lobby group is adamant that the government has failed to adequately explain why. Fita is seeking to overturn the tobacco ban in the high court in Pretoria, where a full bench of judges will hear its case early in June.

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