The DA plans to lodge a complaint with Parliament’s Joint Ethics and Members Interest against Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

The party is accusing Dlamini-Zuma of misleading the public about the ban on the sale of cigarettes during the lockdown.

This is in relation to the Minister’s assertion that she had received more than 2 000 submissions supporting the ban of cigarette sales.

Dlamini-Zuma said this days after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a lift in the ban on the sale of tobacco products.

Now DA Chief Whip, Natasha Mazonne, says Dlamini-Zuma’s cited statistics are different from those in court papers.

In court papers, Dlamini-Zuma allegedly said her department received 1 500 public submissions.

47% had nothing to do with cigarette smoking, while 29% supported the ban. 23% were in favour of the lift in the ban.

Mazonne says the Minister has a duty to ensure that she provides Parliament with correct information.

Members of Parliament can be fined or sanctioned, or both, if they are found to have contravened the Ethics Code.

The DA’s move comes as the ANC battles to thwart off criticism against Dlamini-Zuma.

The Minister has come under attack over her stance on the sale of tobacco products, which the ANC and government have been at pains to explain that it was a collective decision based on scientific evidence on the dangers of smoking in the face of the respiratory disease, COVID-19, for which there’s no cure yet.

In the video below, an analysis of attacks on the Minister: