Jacques Pauw, the veteran South African investigative journalist, has raised the possibility that the continued prohibition on the sale of tobacco products during lockdown could be due to nefarious forces.

On Wednesday, minister of co-operate governance Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said tobacco products could not be sold during the level four lockdown, despite President Cyril Ramaphosa having announced that the ban would be lifted on 1 May.

Pauw was speaking to Kieno Kammies on CapeTalk radio. He said that there was no rational basis for the continued ban on tobacco products. Said Pauw: ‘We have to look at politics… We all know in which camp Dlamini-Zuma is. There is a nexus between her and Ace Magashule (African National Congress [ANC] Secretary-General) and even the EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters).’

According to Pauw, the continued ban could be due to links between Dlamini-Zuma and Adrian Mazzotti, described as an ‘alleged illicit tobacco kingpin’ by CapeTalk. Mazzotti allegedly funded some of Dlamini-Zuma’s campaign to become leader of the ANC in 2017, and photos have emerged of Dlamini-Zuma and Mazzotti together.

The EFF, which came out in strong support for the continued tobacco ban, have also allegedly been funded by Mazzotti.

Said Pauw: ‘I can assure you that lots of Mazzotti’s cigarettes are being sold around at the moment… We’re talking about organised crime here. In the meantime, South Africa is losing tax revenue at a time when the government urgently needs money.’

Pauw is the author of The President’s Keepers, published in 2017, which exposed the links between former President Jacob Zuma (Dlamini-Zuma’s ex-husband) and organised crime.


  1. Why are none of the medical experts and professors who support the ban on cigarettes making any mention of the fact that black market cigarettes are not regulated and may contain more harmful substances?

    • The reason why tobacco is banned, is to save lives during Covid-19. However, not a single shred of evidence to that effect, was ever produced by any minister or so-called health expert anywhere, including in the CCC. Some arguments about the drawbacks of smoking in general, was mentioned. But none of it related to Covid-19 lives being saved. The poor argument of smokers sharing an “entjie” also is useless. Many people, especially blacks, frequently also share a quart of beer. Drinkinging directly from the bottle. The same also happens when coloureds frequently buy a 2L bottle of cold drinks, and then share it amongst themselves by drinking directly from the bottle. Therefore all the reasons given for not drinking alcohol, is nhot also appliccable to cold drinks, or sodas as the Americans call it.

    • True am having a headaches lately because of these illicit cigarettes this is very bad for us but our leaders don’t care

      • Perhaps now would be the time to consider giving up, never mind Politicians, think of your own health as “they” don’t care

        • Why would I want to give up now? If and when I give up is my choice not some woman’s who should be sitting at home looking after her grandchildren.

        • I dont smoke BUT government telling people what to eat smoke drink etc.. is communism in the making. Next thing they’ll tell you who to believe and what to believe.

    • Most cigarettes or drug seized by ploice is resold or used. It’s a criminal society. The concept of hypocrisy does not exist amongst uncivilized people.

  2. Just a question to Dlamini-Zuma…First of all, I,m not a smoker, …you banned the sales off Tabacco products? Don’t you think obesity is just as unhealthy? Something you can consider yourself!

  3. Either Dlamini Zuma’s low intelligence does not allow her to comprehend irrationality of the tobacco ban or she has a personal interest in supporting it because of her alleged association with a mafia tobacco boss.
    Then again, maybe both.

    • Darius, I’m not a fan of Zuma believe me, but I just want to question why you said she has low intelligence? She is a qualified medical doctor by the way! I think your comment is simply racist!

      • Racist? Why? I know a lot of dumb whites, coloreds and black people. And of course a lot of intelligent people also, who don’t scream racist because of another person’s remarks. But you can be a doctor and still have no common sense. And that’s worse than stupid.

    • Cigarettes are ban but dagga is not ban and more dangerous than normal cigarettes. Smokers are getting emptional and depress which cause you to get medical attention. Really its unfair to ban cigarettes but now people buy illegal cigarettes. People can decide by themselve if its a health risk to them or not

  4. How is it possible that a shockingly large number of people believe that Ramaphosa is the face of a better faction within the ANC trying to stamp out corruption and repair the ANC-inflicted damages of the past? He’s clearly one of them, always has been and always will be. Unless he’s retarded he can’t possibly believe that the cigarette ban has anything to do with health.

  5. Expected more from this article. This is just speculation with no proof to back up any claims, which results in no answers and leaves is still in the same predicament.

  6. Just ask the working class where they get their ciggies from..freely availabe – well, not actually freely because they cost ten times than before. This and the prohibition has nothing whatsoever to do with the virus, its all about power and ego.

  7. She claims to be a doctor. Then she would know the health risks of banning tobacco in a nation that has not 11 million consumers, but the impact from cold Turkey with zero support from the government to support it.

    There are currently more cases of suicide than Covid deaths that are directly related to this irrational ban. That blood is on her hands.

    But yes, also, follow the money.

    This is clear corruption and a crime against humanity.

  8. I am not a smoker anymore but those that smoke is doing so out their legal choice. Smoking us not illegal. My gripe is that if they (ANC) can enforce this they are taking control of the nation’s right to choose. I thought we have the worlds best and modern democracy? While in real terms we have the world’s best de-mockery of a democracy! What next? They take control of our cash?

  9. Why moderation? I thought it is our democratic right to express your personal opinions? Why is everybody so scared to criticize. Now that is a sure sign of communism and or socialism.

  10. Everytime ramaphosa says the ban on tobacco will be lifted dlamini decides over his head..the ANC are promise breakers and cannot be trusted..if they can go back on the promise of lifting tobacco ban what else will they go back on..idiocracy and hypocrasy is the new norm in government..i think dlamini definately has personal gain in this ban..taking away personal choice is a violation of our rights..

  11. People who smoke bought the illegal cigarettes before covid 19 at 150 Rand per carton. Legal ciggarettes is obtainable from R270 per carton before covid19. Now the legal cigarettes is unobtainable and people pay From 800 to a 1000 rand for this unrefined cheap ciggarettes. There is also a lot of poor people that smoke who now has to pay this high price. What a shame. 80 t0 a r100 a packet. the people who sell these cigarettes are mostly libearians. pakistanies nigerians and drc’s. not even our own people can make this excessive profits for themselves. I think it is a redicolous situation. Even in Communist China people are now allowed to smoke during covid 19

    • Sex transmits the deadly HIV virus yet nobody has been stopped (by the ANC regime) from doing it. Why not? Human lives are at stake!

      Because the ANC gangsters can’t benefit financially from prohibition on sex?

      … ha … ha …

  12. What worries me most is the fact that Dlamini Zuma seems to ride rough-shod over Cyril Ramaphosa. He is either a total coward or Dlamini has got some hold over him. He does not act like a SP should. So, do not be surprised if Dlamini Zuma might be in line as the future SP in the near future.

  13. All smokers should vote for anyone but the ANC or the DA. ANC is so pathetic and the DA does not stand up for us. They should take this matter to the constetutional court. They are also useless

  14. Since SA is borrowing so much from so many different helpers shouldn’t someone report this constantly to the interpol or open a case at the world courts, or something over NDZ & CR’s heads…

  15. Has too have a connection you the better prices the illicit market ensures those whore making big bucks out of squirrel’s kowtowing faux pas

  16. The issue is a smoke screen, excuse the pun. It diverts attention away from the objective- control.
    It is demonstrating power and demanding compliance.
    It is to further the socialist and communist totalitarian control . We are showing you we can still control you and the judiciary is on our side. It is captured.

  17. Every major corrupt deal involving government has a portion going to the ANC. That is why the never pay for their crimes.

  18. I am wondering how Dlamini Zuma when is have very strong apartheid she has a chance to go and study in England? And now how she decides to interfere in my personal life. She is not even my friend, to decide did I can smoke or not. She doesn’t like cigarettes, and what: everybody must stop to smoke…(all nation). What if tomorrow she stops to drink water…what? we also must stop to drink water…Why she acting like God… But she is is not our Creator…We are born free and have on chance to make on choice…
    On her age, she must put the pampers, sit at home, and not make stupid greedy decisions…

  19. Risk-adjusted is a synonym for thoughtless, irrational an capricious regulations. It is not surprising because they are based on the wrong approach, allowing what people are allowed do. The activity of humans is so varied and interactive that nobody can think of all the possibilities and ramifications. The correct approach is to stipulate what people cannot do. Anything not explicitly prohibited must be allowed. People will be creative on how they can continue doing their business or hobby without infringing on the regulations. This would allow life to continue fairly normal while retaining support for sensible rules and thus ensuring compliance.

  20. Tobacco and alcohol have looong been bugbears in health terms (to which I agree.) However. alcohol and tobacco banning is a bolt from the blue which has in nanotime presented Big Brother with the ideal control of the masses by a near-perfect exercise.This polticisation will not be reduced easily, if at all. It is a far greater intrusion in our way of life than sustained, if feeble, health education. Fight the intrusion, deal with health probems in their own right.

    • And so is TB; DIABETES; ETC. I know of a lot of smokers that smoke for many years, as young as from 15-16yrs until 80-85 yrs of age. It depends on your own health system. I’m not a smoker, nor a drinker of alcoholic beverages, but not blind or deaf, nor a sheepishly follower. Every human beings right to decide for themselves.

  21. I do believe there is a potential for a very juicy class action lawsuit to be brought against the government for the harmful effects of removing tobacco products – the psychological problems, the GBV issues it causes in the home, the criminal activity which is encouraged by forcing law-abiding citizens to go looking for their fix and the health problems caused by inferior quality cigarettes. There is even evidence that smokers have a lower death rate and could very well be better off by inhaling nicotine. Hopefully some smart lawyers will take this on.

  22. This non-epidemic is the largest and most successful worldwide military exercise the world has ever seen. At the fatality rate of 69 per million over 3 months compared to normal deaths of 83 000 per year cannot possible be an epidemic. The objective was to impose a sudden fear and then lockdown to destroy the middle class and dump all non-desireables or excess population into abject poverty and beggar-hood. The one, the ANC with SACP will control food parcels and wield absolute power and control life and death.
    CR said it in mild terms but this land is sold out to China and bankers and they will also exact their toll.
    If all goes to plan, the fat pigs will feed at the corruption trough till it is taken away by the NWO, having served their purpose. Woo that day!!!
    But there are unexpected events coming to trip them into oblivion.
    As for total human control, I am happy to live in RSA where nothing works!

  23. I hear that the son of a former senior politician has a cigarette business in Rustenburg he sell s his cigarettes’ and transports it in a hearse past the roadblocks to Polokwane, gaining financial benefit from this restrictions. i am a non smoker and have sympathy with all the smokers and the same to anybody who loves his beer in the afternoon and over week ends

  24. Look, we all know smoking is bad for us and most people would like to stop smoking at some time, I stopped on the 1st November 2019 and still crave a smoke every day. I went cold turkey from smoking 30 – 40 Lexingtons every day. Besides having a few puffs of mini cigars recently after a drink or two, I haven’t smoked a cigarette for over 8 months. The thing that really irritates me about this smoking prohibition is the fact that the government has taken away my freedom of choice to choose whether I want to smoke or not.

  25. The scary thing about this tobacco prohibition is that Zuma and her son are clearly implicated with the gangsters, but they are flaunting their relationship with impunity, fuck them all.

  26. @ Sheila
    Dagga is a mind altering drug, while tobacco has a calming effect, I know, I have been smoking for almost 40yrs now, and at times I couldn’t smoke,,,, I became very aggressive.
    I dare you to prove me wrong on both accounts.

  27. I don’t understand this Zuma woman, she is “supposed” to be a qualified Doctor but can’t give the stats on how many SMOKERS died from Covid-19 because they were smokers. If a person died from Cancer, TB, HIV or was a diabetic, they died from Covid-19 and not from the above. This so called Government is loosing BILLIONS of rand per month and the elicit manufacturers have taken over with Billions of Rand profit with NO TAX, the Government is down the tubes and now want to use your pension money to bail themselves out and to hell with the Law Abiding Citizens as we are now their PAWNS and Cyril Ramaphosa is just a puppet. Manufacturers can export their cigarettes so to hell with overseas people they can die as far as BS Zuma is concerned but the BAN must stay in S.A. so she can make more money! When the S#!T really hits the fan, she will be out OUR country is a flash WITH ALL OUR MONEY.

  28. Look on the back of the US Dollar bill. “Annuit coeptis Novus Ordo Seclorum”. Then translate from Latin, and you will know who is REALLY in control.

  29. Look on the back of the US Dollar bill. “Annuit coeptis Novus Ordo Seclorum”. Then translate from Latin, and you will know who is REALLY in control.
    And when I try to post I am told that I already said that! Bull sh1t!

  30. The mistake most people in South Africa make is to believe that our President Cyril whatsis face is in charge and runs the country. He does not. Unqualified, eneducated, intelectualy challenged criminals behind the scene run it. He is just their front man. We also forget that he was vice president under Zuma. Why did he not make any difference then? Where was he? Why was he so ineffectual, and uninfluential ? What makes anyone imagine that he is suddenly going to change and become infuential, and follow through on the promises he continuously makes ? Suddenly he must turn into the Saviour we have all been waiting for? I think not.
    Is the Zuma woman really a qualified doctor ? Gosh, after the decisions she has made recently, I would not go to her for dandruff if sahe was a GP. She has had 4 senior posts in the ANC all of which she has screwed up big time. So why is she running our country? She studied in England ? Wow, we are all so impressed, Mrs ( sorry DR.) Zuma (Dlamini), you are supposed to retire at 60, what are you still doing in government? Or are you indispensable to us. Sad thing is that there is nobody to replace these people. Maybe they just cant afford to retire. Its difficult being a pensioner in S A.

  31. Have faith fellow South Africans. the other day there was a prophetic word spoke a message from GOD ALMIGHTY.( Quote) HE (GOD) is fed up and angry with the ANC and there evil ways and how they (ANC) have oppressed and destroyed his ( GOD`s)people in different ways GOD said HE is coming in ALL HIS wrath to remove the ANC from power. Psalm 91 verse 8 says we GOD`s CHILDREN will observe with our own eyes the punishment of the wicked. so you who are guilty of state capture and other awful crimes against people of South Africa rich or poor, you will not be able to run away/hide. for GOD knows you, he knows your name and knows your sins. this sins will be shouted from the roof tops for everybody to know. So C R come clean and do the right thing and reveal what truths that you know of before the sh#t lands on your face. I am just one of GOD`s messengers so do not kill the messenger there are many more. humans cannot fight GOD


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