The Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Leon Schreiber claimed on Tuesday that the African National Congress (ANC) was a “common denominator in all forms of capture and corruption”.
His comment comes after the public outrage due to the tobacco ban under the Disaster Management Act issued by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
News24 had reported that cigarette trader Adriano Mazzotti denied claims he influenced Dlamini-Zuma and the government to ban tobacco sales, which prompted the response of Schreiber.
“Read this article, but every time you read the word Mazzotti, replace it with the word Gupta,” he said on his Twitter account.
Schreiber further accused the ANC of being responsible for state capture and corruption.
“And then understand that the ANC is the common denominator in all forms of capture and corruption,” he said.
However, ANC spoke on the criticism of Dlamini-Zuma from the public including DA leader John Steenhuisen after she announced the ban on tobacco products would continue, eNCA reported.
Although President Cyril Ramaphosa Ramaphosa said the decision to continue the ban was made collectively, Steenhuisen described the decision on the ban as “draconian”.
Ramaphosa had initially said tobacco would be sold during level four lockdown, but that decision was later reversed by Dlamini-Zuma.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said the criticism on Dlamini-Zuma by the public was racial and misogynistic despite the Ramaphosa insisting the decision was a collective one.
“When she pronounced the decision she was doing so empowered by the disaster management act and her capacity as the incumbent minister. It appeared as if she was being isolated,” Mabe said.
“The national command council (NCC) is made out of various ministers and singling one on a decision of a collective is rather unfair. It smugs of racial tirade and it’s rather unfair,” he continued.
Meanwhile, the Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) announced on Tuesday that they had decided to take legal action against the tobacco ban.
“This morning, our attorneys served a high court application challenging the decision by the government to ban the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products during level 4 of the national lockdown,” the association said on their Twitter account.
“Fita has resorted to this step as a means of last resort. Regrettably, all attempts to engage government in a meaningful manner to resolve this particular issue have proven to be unsuccessful. We have now left it to the courts to adjudicate on this matter,” the association continued.
(Compiled by Molefe Seeletsa)