Fita withdraws pending appeal on sale of tobacco after settlement
Pretoria - Following a bitter and lengthy legal tussle between the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) and government over the banning of the sale of tobacco products, the parties have now reached a settlement.
Fita chairman Sinenhlanhla Mnguni said in a statement issued on Wednesday that they will withdraw their pending appeal before the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.
This comes after the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma undertook to engage the public should she at any stage seek to reinstate a temporary prohibition of the sale of tobacco and related products.
Mnguni said this agreement followed weeks of negotiations between the legal teams of Fita, the minister and that of President Cyril Ramaphosa, to settle the issues still in dispute regarding the cigarette ban during the lockdown period.
The minister meanwhile, as part of the settlement, undertook that if she wanted to reinstate the ban, any invitation to or announcement of a consultation process would be issued publicly .Fita and any other interested party would then be free to participate in that process.
This was not the case when the minister placed a ban on the selling of tobacco products under levels 5 to 3 of the lockdown regulations.
It was agreed that any future decision regarding the prohibition of the sale of tobacco products , if any, will be taken in accordance with the law and the requirements of legality.
It was meanwhile agreed that each party would foot their own legal bill, both in regards to both the Gauteng High Court and the SCA challenge.
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