The civil rights organisation AfriForum today served a lawyer’s letter on the Minister of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, in which the Minister is informed that the organisation will take further legal action if the smoking ban isn’t lifted. This ban refers to the sale of tobacco products that are currently illegal. The letter was also served on the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize.
Ernst Roets, Head of Policy and Action at AfriForum, says that no rational basis exist for the smoking ban, and that government’s secrecy in this regard is tantamount to a violation of the public’s civil rights. Roets raises his concern about rumours that Dlamini-Zuma’s friends in the underworld deal in contraband cigarettes.
“AfriForum doesn’t fight for smoking; we fight for freedom: Freedom for the community to not be subjected to preposterous regulations,” says Roets.
In its lawyer’s letter, AfriForum requests the revoking of the decision to ban tobacco products. If the Minister does not reply sufficiently to AfriForum’s lawyer’s letter, the organisation will consider further legal action.