DA will lodge ethics complaint against Dlamini-Zuma over 'misleading' cigarette ban claims

It has been revealed in court documents that Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma misled South Africans when she claimed that 2,000 public submissions had supported the ban on tobacco product sales during lockdown.

DA Chief Whip Natasha Mazzone said in a statement on Monday: "Court documents filed by the minister herself in response to a court challenge by the Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA), revealed that she received 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 a mere 454 submissions."

In light of this information, the DA will lodge a complaint in terms of clause 4.1.5 of the code of ethical conduct against Dlamini-Zuma, Mazzone said.

"The minister has a duty of care to ensure that she provides parliament with correct information, just like former minister Lynn Brown had a duty of care to provide the correct information to parliament.

"It is even more important when the information used during a state of emergency has repercussions on decisions being made that affects millions of South Africans on many levels," she said.

The DA chief whip said Dlamini-Zuma's actions had contravened and failed to maintain public confidence and trust in the integrity of parliament in terms of the code of conduct.

"She must, therefore, be held accountable by the committee and penalised according to its rules."

(Compiled by Sandisiwe Mbhele)

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