At a press briefing on Friday, after Minister of Police Bheki Cele announced that anyone found smoking in public would need to produce a receipt to prove when and where their cigarettes were purchased, the DA said it was “laughable” and called for a retraction.
“It is not illegal to smoke cigarettes in your house. The only problem is when you fail to show us when and where you got the cigarettes. Buying cigarettes and the sale is illegal. Until those regulations are removed it will remain an offence to do such,” said Cele.
“There is no regulation making provision for any person to be compelled to provide proof of purchase for their cigarettes,” said DA MP Andrew Whitfield.
He said the minister’s latest comments joined a “long list of irrational and petty ministerial edicts which cause confusion in public and among the police officers deployed to enforce the regulations”.
The DA demanded that Cele publicly retract his comments and apologise to the nation for them.