KHAYA SITHOLE: Does Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma have 3,500 reasons to ban tobacco?
Minister’s submission to court needs to be clear and concise if the government wants to convince South Africans of its stance
A few decades ago a Cambridge economics professor, the late Frank Hahn, received a 40-page paper from a contributor to the Review of Economic Studies. Unimpressed by the length of the submission, Hahn asked the writer to submit a revised version of no more than three pages. The writer objected, and Hahn simply replied: “Crick and Watson described the structure of DNA in three pages. Kindly explain why your idea deserves more space.”
This week one of the most voluminous court submissions was made by co-operative governance & traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in a case pitting the tobacco industry against the state. The crux of the dispute is whether it is justifiable for tobacco products to be banned during the lockdown induced by the coronavirus pandemic.