Military police have arrested a non-commissioned officer in Seshego, Limpopo, for allegedly being in possession of a consignment of cigarettes found in a military vehicle he was driving.
They say they arrested the officer following a tip-off. He is at a local police station for processing.
It is not clear what the total value of the cigarettes is. An investigation is under way.
The ban on tobacco products under the national lockdown regulations has opened a major black market for cigarettes.
A University of Cape Town investigation shows that 80% of South Africa’s estimated 12 million smokers are regularly buying cigarettes. Purchases take place at bus and taxi ranks, shopping mall parking areas and even from “back doors” of businesses.
Cigarette smoking risks and COVID-19 spread with Prof Konstantinos Farsalinos: