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Press Release

Make this the end of an error, Mr President

Tuesday 2 June 2020 – TAX Justice South Africa (TJSA) tonight welcomes the High Court judgment declaring lockdown regulations invalid and unconstitutional and urges the Presidency to lift the cigarette ban immediately.

TJSA founder Yusuf Abramjee says: “The judgment gives Government 14 days to put its house in order. This is the time for President Ramaphosa to show true leadership and admit the error of the cigarette ban.

“The prohibition has failed dramatically. Smokers are still smoking and criminals in illicit trade are getting rich. Meanwhile, South Africans are being robbed of R35 million a day in taxes.

“The ban has turned 11 million smokers into criminals, while allowing the real crooks to grow so strong they may be impossible to remove.

“As well as lost taxes, the Government will only waste more money if they try to defend this unworkable ban in court.

“Public anger is growing by the day, and the distress caused to smokers is becoming unbearable. Today I heard a woman recount how her elderly mother is suffering with withdrawal issues and is now a danger to herself.

“The President has said his Government is prepared to acknowledge the errors it has made. This is the time to make good on that promise and announce the end of an error once and for all.”