Bheki Cele slams liquor outlets for contravening lockdown regulations
Johannesburg - Police Minister Bheki Cele has blasted the owners of liquor outlets who violate relaxed national lockdown regulations by cramming patrons in their establishments beyond operating hours, and without Covid-19 preventive measures.
Cele briefed the media on Tuesday on the continued role of law enforcement after President Cyril Ramaphosa last week announced that lockdown restrictions would be further eased.
Cele warned those who violated the regulations would be brought to book during alert level 1. He expressed “shock and disgust” at those who were violating the regulations, including owners of liquor outlets.
“This past weekend, I joined the operations checking on the compliance in Ekurhuleni in Gauteng.
“During the multidisciplinary operation between the SAPS, the SANDF and the provincial traffic law enforcement, we came across several shebeens and taverns operating way past the stipulated 10pm curfew under level 2,” he said.
He accused some of the outlets, including restaurants, of squeezing patrons in their premises when doors and windows were shut to make it look as if they had closed, while drinking and socialising continued inside.
Cele warned that the outlets in question could see themselves stripped of their operating licences.
While the country was now on the lowest alert level, law enforcement would continue enforcing the relaxed restrictions, he said.
Cele said 310494 people had been arrested since the start of the lockdown in March for violating the regulations, with their offences relating to liquor, transport and cross-border crimes. Most of the arrests took place in the Western Cape, with a total of 72137 people arrested, followed by Gauteng with 59000 arrests.