Fita gets closer to possibly unlocking cigarette ban

Fita appeals ruling to lift the ban on the sale of cigarettes. Image: Moneyweb

Fita has argued that the court misinterpreted its reading of points in the Disaster Management Act, while government maintains it was acting in the best interests of the public during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) is a step closer in its attempt to appeal the dismissal of the cigarette ban.

Fita has succeeded in its attempt to appeal an initial ruling banning cigarettes as the Supreme Court of Appeal has agreed that its leave to appeal petition be processed on an urgent basis.

In court documents, the Supreme court wrote: “The application for truncated dates in respect dates for filing of the affidavits in this case which we lodged on July 31 is granted.

“The respondents [president of the Republic of South Africa/government] are directed to deliver their answering affidavit by no later than Friday, August 7, 2020 at 3 pm.

“The Applicant is directed to file the replying affidavit, if any, by no later than Tuesday 11 August 2020 at 3 pm”

Cigarettes have been banned since the start of the national lockdown in late March following an address by President Cyril Ramaphosa. This led to Fita’s court challenge to have the ban overturned, which was dismissed with costs in late June.

Fita has argued that the court misinterpreted its reading of points in the Disaster Management Act, while government maintains it was acting in the best interests of the public during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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