Three judges at the high court in Pretoria have dismissed the first major legal challenge to the government’s Covid-19 ban on the sale of tobacco products — and found that there is a “rational connection” between the ban and government’s stated objective of using it to save lives.

Co-operative governance and traditional affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has argued that the ban was put in place because of evidence that smokers are more likely to suffer more severe Covid-19 complications, including death.

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