Malema defends NDZ: ‘Tobacco not the solution’

Malema defends NDZ: ‘Tobacco not the solution’

Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) leader Julius Malema has come out in defence of Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma over the decision to ban cigarettes. 

Julius Malema at CPT Press Club

Malema held a virtual press briefing on Thursday.

“We must support her, in the long run, tobacco is not the solution,” he said.

“We must, at some point, find a way where we have a society free of cigarettes. Her attitude is correct, and it doesn’t start now.

The decision by government to continue the ban on tobacco products under Level 4 and 3 has been a bone of contention.

Dlamini-Zuma has been dragged to court for the decision by the Fair Trade Independence Tobacco Association (FITA). 

FITA is challenging the constitutionality to ban the sale of tobacco. 

In representations that she has made, Dlamini-Zuma says the rationale for the decision to suspend the sale of tobacco products was to protect human life and reduce a potential strain on the healthcare system.

The matter between Dlamini-Zuma and FITA is expected to be heard in court at the beginning of June. 

READ: Police cannot ask you for cigarette receipt, says legal expert

During his briefing, Malema pleaded with supporters not to attend religious gatherings under level 3 of the lockdown.

“We pray in the EFF, we support the church,” he said, before adding: “Members of the EFF and supporters of the EFF do not go to church, it’s a trap. You’re going die. It’s a setup, do not go to church, you’re going to die.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announced on Tuesday that places of worship would be allowed to open from Monday. 

However, these gatherings would only be limited to no more than 50 people.

Malema pleaded with religious leaders to not resume services. 

“We want to make a plea to religious leaders: Do not open your places if you love your people and you claim to occupy the high moral standards. You are the ones who should be saying that your members should not come to church.”

The country’s biggest church, the Zion Christian Church (ZCC), confirmed in a statement on Thursday that it would not be opening under level three.


ZCC churches will remain closed until further notice. 

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