WATCH: The crooked line to R5 cigarettes and booze ‘sold’ at ‘house no.11’

Cigarettes are traded despite the Covid-19 lockdown regulations. Legal traders have lost significant income because of the restrictions. Photo: Mosa Damane / GroundUp

In a simple experiment, we took to the streets to find out just how accessible banned illicit cigarettes and booze are.

If you’re reading this you’re already behind, we’re somewhere in the middle…

Both cigarettes and booze somehow continue to make it onto the streets, despite a national ban on both.

While government squares off against British American Tobacco SA (Batsa) in the Western Cape High Court over governments’ cigarette ban, Tax Justice SA founder Yusuf Abramjee, who has filed an affidavit supporting the challenge led by Batsa, says the nation stands at a defining moment, where the ruling will decide whether criminals continued to make billions of rands in the illegal cigarette trade.

And that ladies and gentlemen, is where the penny drops.

Cigarette and booze are available on the streets and as a family relative once said, “if some officer gave me R 3 000, I’d tell them that there’s something ‘brewing’ at house number 11.”

That is exactly where we are, now that you’ve caught up.

It was attorney Douw Breed, managing director of Barnard Inc Attorneys who in responding to a court case – entirely different to this piece – said irrational and unconstitutional lockdown regulations ran the risk of turning law-abiding South African citizens into criminals.

While Breed was not referring to the cigarettes or booze ban, how he phrased this next point made unshakable sense.

Explaining the North Gauteng High Court judgment declaring the regulations ‘unconstitutional and invalid’, Breed warned that “government must not underestimate the public’s intelligence.”

In a simple experiment, we took to the streets to find out just how accessible these banned illicit cigarettes are.

Note: The Citizen does not condone nor endorse any acts of criminality. The experiment was done purely for investigative purposes and by no means propels and/or urges anyone to imitate or replicate the actions in the footage.

Anyone found purchasing cigarettes or alcohol will face the full might of the law.

With that said. You be the judge.

 

Gopolang Moloko

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