Court agrees to hear bid by tobacco group for leave to appeal ruling that kept cigarettes banned

South Africa instituted its ban on the sale of cigarettes in late March, 2020.
South Africa instituted its ban on the sale of cigarettes in late March, 2020.
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The High Court in Pretoria will next week hear an application by the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association for leave to appeal a ruling that kept cigarettes banned.  

"We’ve just received confirmation from the Gauteng Division of the High Court in Pretoria that our application for leave to appeal the ruling of 26 June 2020 dismissing our cigarette ban challenge will be heard on the 15th of July 2020,"said Sinen Mguni, chairperson of FITA, in a WhatsApp message to Fin24 on Thursday. 

Cigarettes have been banned since the start of the lockdown in late March. FITA's court challenge to have the ban overturned was dismissed with costs in late June. 

FITA had in early July submitted an application for leave to appeal the initial ruling that kept tobacco products banned, arguing the court made a number of errors in its reading of the Disaster Management Act, among other points. 

The state has defended its ban on the sale of cigarette as necessary for health reasons amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

A second challenge to the tobacco ban, brought by British American Tobacco South Africa, was supposed to be heard in June but has now been postponed to early August. 

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