President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office has denied he was trying to distance himself from the government’s controversial cigarette ban after a tobacco lobby group questioned his noninvolvement in the state’s legal defence of the decision.

In court papers filed late on Saturday, Fair Trade and Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) chair Sinenhlanhla Mnguni said it was "noteworthy" that Ramaphosa, as head of state, "has failed to depose to any affidavit" in the increasingly hostile court battle playing out between the organisation and co-operative governance & traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now