Cigarette ban remains, for now, said President Ramaphosa. But, he noted the ban won’t last forever. Meanwhile, the Liberty Fighter’s Network issued a press release that indicated tobacco sales remain banned. But, if caught selling it can’t result in a criminal conviction. It all sounds a little confusing for smokers.
Cigarette ban remain in place says President Ramaphosa
Bev Maclean called on smokers opposing the cigarette ban to tune in and use the #PresidentialImbiz hashtag when the president took questions on July 1. Taking that call seriously, smokers made sure they got their questions heard, Briefly.co.za noted. One of the first callers “right at the beginning of the Presidential Imbizo” asked about the smoking ban.
President Ramaphosa told the caller, “We will not be in lockdown forever, so the ban on cigarettes will be lifted.” That seems a clear indication that for now, the NCCC won’t lift the ban. Meanwhile, Liberty Fighter’s Network noted that on June 30, the Gauteng High Court gave the order that Dr. Dhlamini-Zuma should appeal the Disaster Management Regulations to the Supreme Court of Appeal In Bloemfontein.
Where can we get a copy of the judgment?
— Suzanne de Goede (@GoedeSuzanne) July 1, 2020
Conditions of appeal
Dr. Dhlamini Zuma may not appeal regulations that “violate basic human rights.” Titling their statement on it as “COVID-19 Lockdown Is Over,” covid19southafrica.co.za showed that this means “law enforcers may legally not enforce the unlawful sale of tobacco anymore.” Over on Twitter, some smokers seem a bit confused as to what it all means.
A strong advocate for lifting the ban, Kat Strombeck explained “Please bear in mind however that we have a rogue minister of police on the loose and he has a tendency to apply a wide interpretation to the law to suit himself. So, exercise caution. It is now up to the retailers to make the decision to sell or not.”
Later, she added:
The sale of cigarettes is no longer a class 1 offence. Yes, the ban is still in place but the judgement handed down to amend it is clear and cannot be appealed, The only recourse to the gov is civil. I stand under correction from a legal person
— Kat_ConvSci (@KatStrombeck) July 2, 2020
Is the lockdown really over?
Some smokers sound very confused. One person wondered, “Can it be any more convoluted. The sale is prohibited but the police may not legally not enforce the unlawful sale? ?? Civil process as way of enforcement??? Seems very dodgy am afraid.” Someone else wondered if the ten days given for the appeal might not coincide with the government lifting the ban on July 15 anyway.
In the meantime, it looks like smokers still go ahead with their protest march for the lifting of the cigarette ban on July 8. What do you think about all of this? Confused? Sound off in the comments below.
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