Fita, currently locked in a court battle with the government over the cigarette ban, revealed that they have been subjected to personal threats.
The Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) have confirmed that they will be opening a case with SAPS, after threats were made against their office administrator this week with regards to the cigarette ban.
Tobacco court case latest: Threats made against Fita
Chairperson Sinenhlanhla Mnguni revealed that someone had threatened to ‘f***-up’ the administrator, blaming the group for the court’s delayed decision on lifting the cigarette ban. It’s a matter that Fita has no control over, yet those seeking to intimidate the Association are holding them responsible.
According to Mnguni, a private number called the office before leaving an expletive-laden message. One female employee has refused to turn up to work on Friday because of the threats. While the source is still unknown, Fita have not dragged their heels. The incident is now a matter for the police:
“A coward contacted our office telephonically via a private number and threatened to ‘come to the office and f***-up’ our office administrator, ‘due to the delay in the handing down of the cigarette ban judgment’, which is something are following up on but remains completely out of our hands.”
“Now we have a situation where a young lady is afraid to come to work because of these threats. We take threats of this nature very seriously and we will lodge the necessary complaint with the police. It’s unacceptable!”
Cigarette ban: Latest news and updates
It has been nine days since the court adjourned on the cigarette ban case, promising to deliver its final verdict promptly. However, the wait has been an agonising one for smokers and those in the tobacco industry. Fita themselves have acknowledged the frustrations and explained why the process has been protracted: