‘High-handed’ approach to smoking ban turning people against lockdown: Fita

The Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) said that the prohibition was turning people against the lockdown in general. Image: 123rf.com/marcbruxelle
In its latest salvo against the government’s continued ban on the sale of tobacco products, the Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) said that the prohibition was turning people against the lockdown.

Responding in court documents to an affidavit from Cogta minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma last week, Fita chair Sinenhlanhla Mnguni said: “The high-handed manner in which this ban is being meted out is concerning and results in citizens losing respect for the process and the wonderfully good intentions with which the lockdown process commenced.”

The affidavit is also critical of Dlamini-Zuma’s stance that the ban would make people quit smoking.

“In any event, it is not the second respondent’s role nor prerogative to stop people smoking,” said Mnguni.

Dlamini-Zuma’s “approach”, adds Mnguni, “is regrettable and has no place in an open, transparent and democratic SA”.

“On the second respondent’s (far-fetched) contention that a large number of smokers have quit smoking following the ban, due to the absence of supply, one would have expected then that there is no longer any need for the ban. The absence of logic is manifest,” he says.

By Matthew Savides


  1. Dalmani Zuma has no idea what she and her team have created, she has begun a War between Citizen’s of our Nation leave us to smoke it doesn’t affect her directly or does it??? All that I’ve experienced from speaking to people is that the concern of smoking to them is no problem as long as we continue to respect the boundaries of Non smokers, this is Not about cigaretttes it’s POLITICAL and Power the Covid 19 is always on the backburner!!!! And Ms Zuma you are breaking down trust and Democracy within the Citizens and that’s not what we want, we live like puppets pulled by you and your team’s strings and we are Fed Up!!! Everything we’ve worked so hard for you are breaking down and it’s sad, we now live in fear of eachother and we are slowly becoming divided how dare you allow this. Unban your ridiculous bans leave us to smoke, drink, eat and together stand strong as we always have before the Lockdown we had hope we had Ubuntu now it’s fading Thanks Alot for Nothing NCCC this is our life’s not your Political Stance and corruption that is evident in thw cracks that are now showing and us as people of South Africa are seeing…

    • Fact is alcohol is allowed that courses more harm than siggarettes so i find no logic in the ban of siggarettes i think there is a hidden agenda here

    • They are losing billions and making the (black market) billions how funny is that??? I for one will not stop smoking I’m paying R120 for a packet JFK but Ms Zuma not you the goverment or anybody for that matter will tell me to stop smoking for my own health. I’m not your child we are not your children the people of SA has their own parents as you have your own children. Keep up your good work the ANC has lost respect and so has our president which I have respected as a white South African. But to be honest you are making people honest hard working tax payers who are in fact paying your salary criminals! You lift the ban on alcohol ( you just supported rape, domestic violence, drunken driving, child abuse!! And so much more) ease show me one person who smokes a cigarette and does any of the above YOU CANT!!

  2. Buying cigarettes even with the rules in place seems to be no problem for smokers as they get it at an rediculouse cost anywhere without any difficulty.
    I wish the government would realize this… that poor struggling citizens are now waising their food and living money on over-priced cigarettes.
    Every smoker feels that they are being discriminated against and the measures put there seems to be spitefully done in view of smokers.
    Have Dalmani Zuma ever been addicted to smoking, does she understand the emotional distress of a smoker and the measures they will take to feel a norm again.
    The problem is that now people share more cigarettes between each other, buying a ” loose ” that already went thru a few hands already and sharing the cost with your mate/s is how it’s going.
    The ban on smoking have increased the sale of illicit cigarettes and I’ve seen up to 5 people now come in close contact with each other to buy and share smokes.
    If the same rules would apply as for the alcohol rules, less people will get infected as they would buy their smokes, go home and smoke it there in private.

  3. Who is she (dlamini Zuma) to tell people not to smoke or make them quit smoking it will definitely not work what ever she is trying and I don’t know why our president allow her to control that decision. There is people that smokes for over 40 to50 years and they old do you know how family have to go out of they way to get them cigarettes they could die especially the elderly people that have smoking for so long and now government people wants to decide what is good or bad for people what type right do they have to decide for us people what to do this is utterly ridiculous and wrong… LIFT THE BAN OF CIGARETTES

  4. She is doing it for her own gain, whichever way we look at it…. Why exactly are you doing it? Most certainly not for health reasons…. So what does that leave? The answer is there for all to see. We soyth Africans are not stupid dumb asses!!!!

    • U are so right, she’s corrupt and a self righteous woman only thinking about herself. She cannot control us and we should stand together and bring her down

  5. We are being pushed to to support the illegal industry, we are now law breaking citizens going to the “den” to get our stuff (cigarettes)… It is as if we are purchasing drugs… What is she trying to prove??? The only thing she is proving is how well the illegal sales of cigarettes are doing… They must have reaked a couple of millions by now or mayb more… Please she must giv us solid proof of any1 who has died from Covid 19 due to smoking, I wonder how she was prepared with so quickly obtaining scientific proof of how smoking is a cause of Covid 19 when the world was ot prepared for this pandemic but she was…. It’s a joke I tell u, has she done any postmortem on any Covid 19 victim to confirm that cigarettes caused or triggered the virus….

  6. The difference between the normal price and the illicit price is what the actual cost is to the economy.
    Forget about the loss in excise duty which is minor compared to the real loss. This real loss is the difference between the normal price of R30.00 per packet and the illicit price of R150.00 per packet is what is killing our economy. 5,000,000 smokers are paying R120.00 more than they would have paid per packet !!!
    i.e. This totals R600 million per packet. Multiply by 31 days ( for May ) = R18.6 BILLION for the month lost to the economy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. You can not claim to be doing it for health reasons if smokers are still smoking, there can not possibly be some sort of “spike” because smokers have not stopped smoking. It is unreasonable to continue this ban that is costing the citizens so much money which in turn will fall on government to then support these people and getting cigarettes fake at times will lead to TB…. is it not ones right to decide whether they should smoke or refrain, we’re not speaking about minors here that need to make a consented decision. This is not the right way to exercise power!

    • It would be interesting to hear what she (D.Zuma) has to say with regard to the unbanning of booze that already caused a strain on trauma units at hospitals.

    • I fully agree, who gave her the right to decide for us. What about our freedom of choice, zuma must go pn pension and leave decision making to the experts.

  8. Well I got my hiding from my mom when I started smoking and it didn’t stop me, government has pushed the prices up over 500% in the past 20 years and guess what it didn’t stop me either…. that old cow ain’t gonna b the one to make me stop either….

  9. Do you think that we are blind and stupid Ms Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma?Your actions indicate that ultimately,you would like cigarettes to become an illegal substance.if only your efforts were truely for the health of the nation.Sadly,you have vehemently denied knowing your cigarette smuggling friends who fondly refers to you as Mama Zuma.Shame on you,you have sown the seeds of hatred at your obvious self-affection and selfishness.Remember that what happens in the dark will soon enough come to light for all to see.

    You stand to gain the world with what you are trying to achieve,so does it mean that you have already sold your soul to the devil?Shame on you.

  10. We want proof that people are dying from smoking and figures solid facts that also prove that people in hospitals from the virus are from smoking and how it has changed the virus.old people that having been smoking for years are healthy and living to ages of 80 + I know these people. For these people to suddenly stop smoking will have major trauma on their immune system and they will then die without the covl 19. According test done by doctors I have been smoking for 30+ years and my lungs are in good working condition I am healthy and do not get sick with flu or and chest related illnesses so government please put all this energy into the poor people who being abused by you own police and also help the poor to get food they are starving we did not vote you into power to enrich yourselves and steal from your citizens. Before the ban When we smokers buy cigarettes that money goes to the government which could have helped the poor now right

  11. I have been smoking for 20 years and I am not going to quit smoking just because someone that fakes her results want you to. President Ramaphosa must get rid of her she is a bad seed in our cabinet… why is she still on the cabinet just to punish as she feels fit. It cost more money from our taxpayers so she can drag this out for as long as she feels fit. I say remove this women before she gets to deep in.

  12. We have the right to smoke,it has nothing to do with covid 19,this was her chance to make millions,there is pure evidence that she is in whither the illicit trade,photos of her and mazzetti,, arm around each other,CORUPTION ALL THE WAY,I thought this was a new turning point for our government,forget it,they dont realy care about us,its just themselves,anyway,I have been smoking ever since lockdown started,VERY EASY TO GET CIGARETTES…BUT YES AT A HUGE PRICE,WHY LIFT ALCOHOL AND NOT CIGARETTES,the hospitals are now full of alcohol related problems…what the government has done is the most ridiculous decision I have ever heard of…ENJOY THE SMOKING EVERYONE…I WILL NEVER QUIT

  13. We, as smokers in South Africa, are denied our civil liberties by the government by prohibiting us of our right and choice to smoke. No other country, besides Botswana and India for a short period of time, has treated their citizens as idiots, denying them their rights and freedom of choice. Using the covid pandemic and lockdown regulations as an excuse to treat their citizens as fodder and uneducated. How dare they… no definitive evidence and universal validation provided that smokers are dying universally from the virus. More likely it was proven that diabetics died from thos virus. Thus, one’s eating habits consuming fatty foods and an unhealthy diet causes diabetes resulting in high risk covid fatality. So why not prohibit French fries, fatty foods and unhealthy diets instead of tobacco. To date, no evidence provided by this idiotic booze crazy, half drunk government. And by the way, now is not the time to sway people from stopping to smoke. Rather try to prohibit alcohol consumption as proven by the fact that post the lifting of the booze ban the emergency units at hospitals are now busy again. Anyone ever claimed that smokers are causing the emergency units at hospitals being overcrowded on a friday or Saturday night? This government should be sued by every smoker for denying its citizens their civil liberties and freedom of choice!!! 4th world corrupt country. !!!

  14. The amount of money that she had made during this lockdown by selling those illegal cigarettes will be more than damn enough to feed this entire country but instead she will sit on it, she is going to die soon anyway so why is she trying to ruin our lives? She doesnt understand how much of violence the banning of cigarettes it has caused, I live in a house where everyone are smokers, everyone is going crazy without cigarettes and they are craving for it, she doesnt understand how she just started a war and that everybody finally caught up with her lies and deceit. She is too old to be working she should have retired a long time ago, we all had faith for this government when the lockdown started but then we truly got to know why everything was banned in the first place, all they wanted was to make money even during a pandemic, now it makes us think if there is really a pandemic or if they are even lying about this, because almost every word that comes out from their mouth is lies and they proved that by banning the cigarettes. They need to go through the rights that every person is entitled to before making a decision👍

  15. Roy
    From the start of the lockdown I had cigarettes every day at a price R 120.00 for 20
    This is the government we voted to lead us
    I will remember for the next election

  16. Mr President why dont you listen to the people didnt we fight long for our rights only for you to take it away. Have you forgotten the struggle, just give me my smokes.

  17. This auntie….MEDICAL DOCTOR my foot!!
    what medical doctor leave your smoker for 30 year quit cold turkey in this times?
    Coughing up phlem and anxiety….panic attacks and stress…come on auntie you think we are stupid!!
    I smoke stronger sigarettes since lockdown.. BUT STILL SMOKING!
    This ban your can shift where the sun is not shining! Many words come to mind…I want to call you auntie…many words… and none of them is kind!

  18. 0h yes she thought she got it right but she did not. All smokers are still smoking. People even collect STOMPIES out of Dirt Bins to smoke. So why don’t she get in her car and drive around on trash collecting days.She is turning us all into criminals.Because of bans we understand and learned how to do acts of criminality. No other country will support this.Teaching its population to do unlawful acts. It is like sending law abiding citizens to school and learn how you can disobey the laws. We pay for what we smoke, but now it became a crime. Stop supporting illicit trading,or did you make it LAW in SA.

  19. One BIG question mark on the ban of siggarettes there is a hidden agenda here why is alcohol allowed that courses more harm .D Zuma you got this wrong unban siggarettes now you only nake things worse and dont try to say people’s stoped smoking becouse of the ban becouse thats bullshit

  20. Roy, I agree with you. Our votes keep these fools in power. We fought so hard to only get back to square 1. I feel that all is feeling this ban on cigarettes. Smokers have family members that don’t smoke. This affects the none smokers as well. There is less money for essential needs making a household suffer. I can just imagine the guy that under normal circumstances beg for a skuif, must be feeling now.

  21. Really, is she called a doctor? Can”t be a medical doctor…. perhaps doctor of stupidity yes. A family member quit smoking because he cant afford it any more after years of smoking. The results… admitted to hospital for heart attack 2 days later. His body could not manage the shock of stopping immediately.

  22. It is embarrassing to say that one is a South African. We are forced to become criminals through our own Government. What pathetic person who calls herself a doctor denies an addict his/her own fix (cigarettes) or an alternative. Does this Auntie even know what withdrawal symptoms are????
    My message to you Auntie Zol! I will not stop smoking for the likes of you.

  23. Drinking is far worse than smoking…. So many people drink and abuse is therefor the outcome, child abuse and so many bad things that comes from drinking…. Yes smoking is bad for your health and yet so is alcohol…. Both are bad for your health, So i cant see why sigarettes must be banned but alcohol can still be sold…. How are you people thinking…..So many years people have been smoking and being able to buy and now because of covid 19 everyone has to stop smoking…. what the hell…. Why did they even start selling smokes if its a problem now…. Really people, just give us back our sigarettes…..

  24. I can’t understand why we cannot smoke in our homes, we’ll just buy the cigarettes and smoke alone in our homes, but the sale of alcohol is allowed where people wont even drink alone, they obviously would not want to drink alone. This woman should be fired. Why is it only in South Africa that cigarettes are banned and not in any of the other countries mxm!!

  25. There is still cafe’s that belong to foreners that sell sigarets for R500 a cartoon so why can’t they open this for all the shops at normal price. Is this a way that government is working with the foreners and don’t worry about their own citizens.

  26. She is treating us like puppets telling us we must quit smoking immediately when we smoking for over 20 yrs how,??? There is a hidden agenda here… We have a right to spoke if we want to we not her kids.

  27. Well my fellow smokers I also think that if the scales doesnt tip in our favour in court its time for us to stick together as an equal nation and start to take matters in our own hands instaed of waiting for a handfull fighting for us in court.Perhaps its time for our so called (leaders) in parlement and the other clowns sitting there and getting ridiculouse salaries and making our country get laughed at by the rest of the world to listen to us.After all this is MY country YOUR country and our Childrens country not theres.Who gave them the right to chose for us.LETS STAND UP AS THE RAINBOW UNIT THAT WE ARE AND TAKE BACK WHAT WAS TAKEN FROM US……BY THEM.

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