Lawyers representing co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma faced some tough questions over the government’s controversial decision to ban the sale of cigarettes during lockdown — and the minister’s insistence that this would result in many of SA’s 8-million smokers quitting.

The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita), which represents SA’s local cigarette manufacturers, has gone to court to question the rationality of the cigarette ban. Its case comes as the government fights nine other legal challenges against the national coronavirus command council, the Disaster Management Act that governs how regulations are formulated and put into effect, and the rationality of the regulations themselves.

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