John Steenhuisen put’s his foot down today claiming that Dlamini-Zuma had lied to South Africans regarding the Tobacco ban and tells Pres. Ramaphosa that if true he has “no choice but to fire her from his cabinet,”.
The issue that has turned heads is that Dlamini-Zuma claimed that the Government’s decision to ban tobacco products was based on “more than 2,000” submissions from the public to prohibit the sales.
“Even in the public comments, there was quite a lot of opposition. More than 2,000 people opposed it,” said Minister Dlamini-Zuma
Steenhuisen has investigated the Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA) court case and found that Dlamini-Zuma has submitted 4,000 pages in what he claims to be an effort to bombard the court (spam) with information.
Steenhuisen claims that from the documentation submitted to the courts there is no clear evidence to show that the 2,000 submissions were relating to the ban of cigarettes or tobacco.
“Plus, it seems, many that had nothing to do with cigarettes or tobacco at all. And the actual opposition to cigarette sales turns out to be a mere fraction of what she had claimed.”
Steenhuisen claims that this is an attempt to further her own agenda
“According to FITA, the applicants in the case, there weren’t more than 2,000 submissions attached as evidence. Instead there were only 1,535 submissions and of these, 47.2% had nothing to do with cigarettes or smoking, 23.3% were in favour of smoking and only 29.6% supported the ban. This amounts to just 454 submissions. Clearly the minister was lying to South Africans in order to further her own pre-determined agenda.”
Steenhuisen goes on to discuss that the Minister is not fit to hold such powers under the Disaster Management Act and questions if she included the NCC into her “lie”.
“The question is, when the minister said on live television that government “took that into consideration, debated the matter, looked at it”, was she implicating the rest of the National Command Council in this lie, or did she herself deceive her cabinet colleagues? Either way, this conduct renders her wholly unfit to occupy the position of a cabinet minister, and particularly one with such sweeping powers under the Disaster Management Act.”
Steenhuisen reports that Dlamini-Zuma should be suspended and the president should act to “salvage” some credibility to their response during this crisis.