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Fita: We believe Supreme Court of Appeal will rule in favour of tobacco sale bid

The leave to appeal case was heard on Wednesday following the dismissal of Fita’s application seeking to force government to reinstate the sale of the products during the lockdown.

Picture: Pixabay.com.

JOHANNESBURG - The Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) believes the Supreme Court of Appeal will find in its favour over the tobacco sale ban debacle, saying the Pretoria High Court erred in its judgment.

The leave to appeal case was heard on Wednesday following the dismissal of Fita’s application seeking to force government to reinstate the sale of the products during the lockdown.

Advocate Arnold Subel for Fita said the Pretoria High Court was wrong in its ruling, which did not support its assertion that the regulations were based on a false premise that if people were prevented from gaining access to the products, they would cease to be smokers.

It further attacked the rationale provided to the court by the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister on behalf of government, which cited among its defence’s literature showing that the measures taken had been successful.

Subel explained: “When the first announcement was made by the president, the sale of tobacco will be permissible under lockdown level four and then they changed that without the so-called evidence or scientific data. It’s kind to call it evidence or scientific data because there was none.”

Some South African smokers have been up in arms against the decision, citing the effects of being forced to immediately give up the addictive habit.

However, despite this argument by Fita, the High Court concluded that just because people were addicted to a product did not make it an essential good.

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