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High Court grants Fita permission to appeal tobacco sales ban

Government has continuously opposed the sale of cigarettes during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.

Picture: Pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - The Pretoria High Court has granted the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) its application to appeal government’s ban on the sale of cigarettes during lockdown.

The appeal will be heard on 15 July.

In its application Fita said the courts got it wrong in finding that cigarettes were not a necessity in terms of the Disaster Management Act which bans sale of tobacco products.

Government has continuously opposed the sale of cigarettes during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.

Last month a full bench in the Pretoria High Court found that Fita had had not successfully proven its argument and was satisfied with government’s rationale of prohibiting cigarette sales for health reasons.

Since the easing of lockdown restrictions most industries have reopened, while the ban on tobacco products remains in place.

Fita has welcomed Thursday’s court decision.

Government has not yet indicated if it will oppose the application for leave to appeal.