WATCH: Dlamini-Zuma outlines reasons for tobacco ban

Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is denying links to alleged tobacco smuggler, Adriano Mazotti. She also says the lockdown tobacco ban will remain in force. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has outlined some of the reasons why government is insisting on the prohibition of tobacco products during the COVID-19 lockdown.

"COVID-19 is a novel virus which affects the lungs," she said.

READ: Tobacco association disappointed with govt decision

"We know from some of the studies that have come from China and even some from the United States, that people who smoke do have problems with the lungs and if they do get the infection, they are more likely than the non-smokers to get a serious disease."

Dlamini-Zuma also rubbished claims that she is linked to the tobacco underworld and that she is friends with cigarette trader Adriano Mazzotti.

READ: Tobacco association fired-up over cigarette ban​​​​​​​

"I am not Mazzotti's friend and secondly if anyone is doing crime in South Africa they must be arrested," Dlamini-Zuma said.

"Whatever crime... whether crime on cigarettes... those people must be arrested."

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