Mangaung smokers treated like royalty

2012-12-15 17:03

Bloemfontein - Smokers at the ANC's national conference in Bloemfontein are being treated like royalty.

A tent, reminiscent of a stylish cocktail lounge, has been set up next to the media centre as the smoking room for journalists.

The air-conditioned perspex-walled marquee was filled with black and white sofas, chairs and ottomans with a scattering of red and grey throw pillows, and grey shaggy carpets.

The tent was lit up by hanging lights and red lamps on little side tables next to the lounge seats.

Amongst the sofas were white tables, with British American Tobacco SA (Batsa) branding, and bar stools. On each table was a vase with red flowers inside.

In August, the Constitutional Court turned down a legal challenge by Batsa against a ban on smoking advertisements.

The court declined Batsa's request to hear an appeal of a judgment upholding the ban by the Supreme Court of Appeal in June of this year.

Reporters at the Mangaung conference were so impressed by the room that even the non-smokers said they would spend time in there.

An African National Congress official said the room was sponsored.

Two cigarette vending machines and water coolers had been placed in the tent.

There were also flat screen televisions with Batsa branding screened on them.

Hostesses walked around emptying ashtrays while soft background music was played.

A woman who walked into the lounge was in awe of the set-up.

"This is a stunning place," she said as she looked around.

Another woman said: "I've never seen a smoking area like this."

The ANC-led government is renowned for its tough anti-smoking laws.

  • beverley.southern.3 - 2012-12-15 17:27

    A women!! The English language slaughtered again by journalists

      om.nom.nom.01 - 2012-12-15 23:24

      Jisterday I cooren't even spel yournalist, now I are one!

  • jackitribe - 2012-12-15 17:28

    "A women..."? It's great to see a language evolve.

  • ana.curcic - 2012-12-15 17:37

    And here I was thinking of quiting smoking....NO WAY...I'll just join cANCer organs and prosper.

      zapadela.tistarocha - 2012-12-15 18:20

      I was under the impression this was an honourable pooch, No No, it is merely a lemming.

  • zapadela.tistarocha - 2012-12-15 17:41

    I have utilized many Smoking areas , Does this make me Royalty. This N24 really need to up-skill their articles.

      johan.jacobs.5680 - 2012-12-15 17:47

      Me too, School toilets.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-12-15 18:12

      Not too many air-conditioned smoking areas with sofas, rugs, flowers, cushions and televisions. However this was set-aside for the media, probably in the hopes that they'll get so comfortable that they'll miss all the 'fun'

      zapadela.tistarocha - 2012-12-15 18:51

      Not my definition of Fun anyway........

  • kobus.hattingh.5 - 2012-12-15 17:44

    Come now, lighten up guys :)

  • abdul.cassiem.9 - 2012-12-15 17:45

    I wonder what r thy thinking sittin thre smokin thr cuban sigars f.......rc the AnC supporters hahaha....

  • aiazmir - 2012-12-15 17:46

    At least they got something right, even against their priciples.

  • Diddly.Squat - 2012-12-15 17:47

    So what

  • crracker.crackerr - 2012-12-15 18:11

    Light up.

  • jaap.kotze - 2012-12-15 18:21

    Ass to ash.

  • Jacques - 2012-12-15 18:30

    Another women? A women??? What the hell?!?!?!?

  • Slicebones - 2012-12-15 18:31

    I love my ANC I don't care who says what

      dmitri.dumas.9 - 2012-12-15 18:44

      slicebones, you are correct. No-one cares what you say anyway :)

  • aldo.stefanini - 2012-12-15 18:36

    Why is this even a story? ? JISSis find some proper news to report!

      daphne.moreira - 2012-12-16 08:48

      Read between the lines - who's in bed with who?

  • carryn.whittaker - 2012-12-15 18:40

    I look forward to more cutting edge journalism like this. Might I suggest that next we have a photo editorial of the Mangaung toilet facilities? Or perhaps an human interest piece profiling some of the staff assisting at the conference. WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      AbridgedThinking - 2012-12-16 04:54

      Couldn't agree more, Carryn. The most critical event in recent SA history and this is where they choose to start. What about the fact that the UFS are threatening to kick the conference off its campus for failure to pay up front as agreed. Or the fact that VWV is bringing an urgent liquidation application against the ANC for non-payment of services during their centenary celebrations earlier this year. God - sneeze first and then sniff a little. The stories are out there ...

  • ian.d.samson - 2012-12-15 18:46

    Cannabis too??

  • mark.knight.14418 - 2012-12-15 18:54

    ... and can you name the delegates who visited and used the facility?

      daphne.moreira - 2012-12-16 08:49

      Did they have security there too?

  • Erna - 2012-12-15 19:09

    The anc led government are hypocrites of the highest order. They want to dictate when and how people may smoke but when it means money in their pocket all is thrown out the window.

  • willem.wulfse - 2012-12-15 19:12

    And the rest have to be satisfied with picking up cigarette butts in the street. "Let them eat cake".

  • kitty2wp - 2012-12-15 19:15

    Sounds like heaven - i wish the rest of South Africa could be like this !!!!

      Siddic Nagdee - 2012-12-15 21:20

      The land of milk,honey and cigarettes

  • alan.davis.5249 - 2012-12-15 19:24

    Sponsored all right.... by our tax money I'll bet!

      Siddic Nagdee - 2012-12-15 20:05

      I heard its Zol they smoking so its tax free

  • frans.vanderpoll - 2012-12-15 19:28

    I believe there's a special corner for marijuana. Voetsek/F-off/Hamba!!

  • coen.smit.5 - 2012-12-15 19:39

    Much better than the Spur in Heidelberg GP who downgraded their smoking area by 75%.. and then Heidelberg is the HQ of BAT!

  • mmoledis - 2012-12-15 22:35

    That was good as smoking near other people who are not smoking is not good at all as some have different deseases and maybe if can inhale the smoke can be affected otherwise.

      nic.nomicos.3 - 2012-12-16 02:21

      Now isn't that an amazing comment ?.....

      sally.lewitt - 2012-12-16 03:21

      Gee. Just wondering what types of diseases inhale cigarette smoke and what kind of effects it will have on the smoke? Does it change colour perhaps?

  • bigfeller2010 - 2012-12-15 23:09

    "The tent was lit up by hanging lights and red lamps on little side tables next to the lounge seats." Red Lamps? Is this Amsterdam or Amngaung?

  • marc.vaneldonk - 2012-12-16 01:28

    Treating smokers like royalty is completely over the edge. Let everybody have its own space to do what he likes, I agree with.

  • dbo.kacebisa - 2012-12-16 04:52 of milk, honey, cigarettes and cANCer. ;-)

  • henk63 - 2012-12-16 05:29

    Strange how quick their loyalties change when offered something for free. All Batsa had to do was offer some JWB and sushi, and they will repeal the anti-smoking laws with remarkable dexterity.

  • Skunk100 - 2012-12-16 09:43

    I don't want to be nasty, but this article was poorly written. The editors need to be a bit more fussy about what makes an article acceptable.

  • flysouth - 2012-12-16 10:09

    Principle - what principles? The ANC is not so much against smoking when they are getting money from the tobacco companies!

  • sandy.sutherland.58 - 2012-12-16 10:33

    here you go all so called supporters of this ultra greedy ANC party - money being pissed against the wall yet again!

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-12-16 11:05

    Those little red lamps, do they mean the ladies come for free?.

  • steven.m.armour - 2012-12-16 11:20

    What a waste of blerry money.

  • eduard.l.goldschagg - 2012-12-16 11:21

    With all the "red" around it is more like a " RED LIGHT " district

  • patsy.smith.125 - 2012-12-16 11:33

    What's good for the goose SHOULD be good for the gander....

  • B.b. - 2012-12-16 11:52

    The ANC-led government is renowned for its tough anti-smoking laws.

  • pamela.g.quinton - 2012-12-16 16:56

    I hate the smell of alcohol.Light up and put the drinkers in a place of their own -----Hypocrites.

  • derek.francois.3 - 2012-12-16 17:20

    please line up free zol, champagne and tenders to loyalists.......................

  • zondra.hoffmann - 2012-12-16 20:49

    What is good for the goose is obviously not good for the gander. Where is Mrs Zuma now? She was the one started this hoo-haa about smoking and got everybody to ban this. Of course liquor will be freely available as well, no doubt!!

  • debduplessis - 2012-12-16 21:56

    such HYPOCRITES!!!!! why should they bafoons be believed on any scale????

  • helen.watermelon.16 - 2012-12-17 00:11

    Lets hope the tent blows up with all in it

  • marc.hugo.75 - 2012-12-17 08:14

    Good stuff!! Tuck into those coffin nails lads!!

  • christopher.m.lowe - 2012-12-17 11:14

    Just another sick example of the depth of hypocrisy that reaches into the depths of the ANC. A government that ignores its own laws. Nothing reeks more of corruption than that. Pffftt!

  • mmilenyane.kholumo - 2012-12-17 21:38

    We expect good tidings to come out of the conference for the benefit of the country but the end of the conference also signals the end of life thanks to the scientists hail america bon voyage

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