Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has been around long enough to know how to ride out a storm. But the fallout from the nationwide cigarette ban refuses to let-up. In the past week, her motivations for lobbying against the sale of tobacco have been strongly questioned – and the DA have been left with a few bones to pick.
Why is Dlamini-Zuma facing an Ethics complaint?
Dlamini-Zuma stands accused of lying about the support she claims to have received for extending the prohibition of cigarette sales in South Africa. After originally claiming to have 2 000 submissions in her favour, the numbers were dismissed when the minister was forced to respond to a court case launched against the ban.
Over the weekend, Cyril Ramaphosa attempted to take some of the heat off NDZ, stating that Cabinet were all agreed on the decision to take cigarettes off the shelves. However, the president conceded that he should have made the now-infamous announcement, rather than letting Dlamini-Zuma front the message.
NDZ vs the DA
But Ramaphosa's attempt to intervene hasn't gone down well with Natasha Mazzone. The DA's Chief Whip maintains that the political veteran 'lied to the nation' when ciggies were put back under lock and key and revealed that the party will now pursue a complaint with Parliament's Joint Committee on Ethics and Members' Interests over this entire fiasco.
"We will lodge a Code of Ethical Conduct complaint against Minister Dlamini-Zuma. The Minister has a duty of care to ensure that she provides Parliament with correct information. She misled South Africans about the amount of public participation her Department received supporting the ban on the sale of cigarettes in lockdown."
"On 29 May she said during a televised briefing that the Department received more than 2 000 public submissions supporting such a ban. Now it has been revealed that the Minister had not even received 2 000 submissions in total, let alone that many supporting her ban. She must, therefore, be held accountable."Natasha Mazzone