Cabinet has condemned suggestions that individual ministers were behind the decisions on lockdown regulations to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has been a target of tobacco manufactures for government’s continued ban on the sale of tobacco products, including cigarettes.
The Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA) has taken government to court. On Tuesday, Dlamini-Zuma explained in a submission to the High Court in Pretoria that she and her colleagues in Cabinet had chosen to protect lives in their decision to continue the ban on tobacco when the country goes to level 3 of the lockdown on Monday.
In a statement, Cabinet noted that the operational and technical management of the virus is done by the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS), whose workstreams include scientists, health specialists, leadership of the country’s law enforcement agencies.
NATJOINTS submits reports to directors-general of departments, who make recommendations to the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC).
“The NCCC deliberates DGs’ recommendations and also makes its own recommendations to Cabinet where proposals, including regulations, are approved. This process ensures that the executive takes collective decisions that are consensual and inclusive,” Cabinet said after a meeting on Wednesday.
“Therefore, Cabinet condemns in the strongest possible terms false suggestions that individual members of the executive are responsible for recommendations that emanate from the NCCC or decisions taken by Cabinet,” it added.