John Steenhuisen shades Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma over cigarette ban

04 May 2020 - 11:12 By Unathi Nkanjeni
DA interim leader John Steenhuisen says President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet seems to be indulging in nanny state fantasies.
DA interim leader John Steenhuisen says President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet seems to be indulging in nanny state fantasies.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

DA leader John Steenhuisen, like others, is not backing the announcement by Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to ban cigarette sales during level 4 of lockdown.

Last week, the co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister prohibited the sale of cigarettes during lockdown.

The announcement came less than two days before the initial ban on tobacco was supposed to be lifted on Friday.

Dlamini-Zuma backtracked on the initial announcement made by President Cyril Ramaphosa, citing several reasons that included health issues.

Taking to Twitter, Steenhuisen suggested he was not backing the ban.

In a post, he accused Dlamini-Zuma of putting money into alleged cigarette smuggler Adriano Mazzotti's pockets.

He suggested her decision on the ban of cigarettes sale was influenced by Mazzotti.

In 2017, SundayTimes reported that Dlamini-Zuma had a close relationship with Mazzotti. The pair have allegedly taken trips to the UK and Greece together.

However, Dlamini-Zuma has denied the two were friends and that she accepted money from Mazzotti.

“I know somebody who is going to be smiling all the way to the bank after his favourite minister shut down the legal tobacco sales,” Steenhuisen said in the tweet.

In a statement, Steenhuisen also slammed the government for flip-flopping on the sale of cigarettes.

“Some of the decisions are draconian, such as the continued ban on smoking and the sale of hot food. Will sugar and fatty foods be next? The president told us smoking would be allowed in level 4, but the command council has now backtracked on this.

“President Ramaphosa’s cabinet seems to be indulging in all its nanny state fantasies. It may soon find itself having to justify these in court, where reasonableness still prevails.”


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