Late Tuesday evening, the government responded in a lawsuit brought by British American Tobacco SA (Batsa) over the ban on the sale of tobacco and tobacco-related products during the state of containment.
The ANC should have replied by Monday, but needed another day to complete it.
The document sent to interested parties by email is 547 pages long.
It contains an affidavit by Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. Her statement is supported by an oath declaration by Dr. Cassius Lubisi, director-general in the presidency.
The government also obtained statements from seven experts, including the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, Genesis Analytics, Human Sciences Research Council, SA Medical Research Council, Social Surveys SA and two expert statements from the University of Cape Town.
A full bench of judges heard the case brought by the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association in Pretoria last week. Judgment in this case is reserved.
On June 1, Batsa filed an urgent application with the Cape Town High Court against the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the National Covid 19 Command Council and the President.
Batsa and eight other parties are asking for a court order that the level 3 regulation prohibiting cigarette sales be declared unconstitutional and invalid and set aside. A cost order is also filed against Dlamini-Zuma, or her and any other respondents who oppose it.
Meanwhile, the initial hearing date changed from June 22 to June 24. Parties have requested Supreme Court Judge President John Hlophe to put the case before a full bench of judges and if he accepts the request, the case may only be heard on June 29 and 30.
Batsa, who is described as the largest tobacco product manufacturer in the country and manufactures products such as Peter Stuyvesant, Dunhill, Kent and Rothmans, filed the case with nine other applicants, including Japan Tobacco International South Africa, which sells Camel.