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Police allow liquor stock to be moved to 'safer premises' as looting alarms Cape officials

To prevent further looting of liquor stores, Fritz said his department was advised by the police that liquor should be transported to safer premises. Photo: Ross Jansen/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

To prevent further looting of liquor stores, Fritz said his department was advised by the police that liquor should be transported to safer premises. Photo: Ross Jansen/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Apr 14, 2020

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Cape Town - The spate of looting in and around Cape Town continued to rage on, with more food and liquor stores targeted by criminals.

This was according to Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz, who said the looting of several food stores continued on Tuesday. He said incidents were reported in Manenberg, Sherwood Park, Nyanga Junction and Gatesville.

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Multiple videos have been doing the rounds on social media showing the apparent looting in those areas.

Fritz said at present “we find ourselves facing a humanitarian crisis because of the lockdown and the economic challenges that follow are only going to exacerbate these challenges further”.

He said it was a struggle for many to put food on the table. That is a very big concern for them and their government has taken a number of steps to assist as much as we can. 

“However, I must be clear, looting will not be tolerated. We urge all our residents to abide by the law at all times.”

Reagen Allen, MPL and DA Western Cape community safety spokesperson said looting of stores is wrong and is not helping anyone in the fight against Covid- 19.

“I wish to encourage law-abiding citizens to report those responsible. We can’t have a situation where a crime like looting and breaking in of food and liquor stores lead to other crimes like murder. Those responsible should face the full might of the law,” Allen said.

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Fritz said there has also been several liquor stores looted over the last few days.

This comes after 17 liquor stores have been burgled and looted in Cape Town amid a call to lift the ban on alcohol sales during the lockdown. Many of those incidents occurred a day before South Africans celebrated the Easter weekend in their homes due to lockdown regulations.

To prevent further looting of liquor stores, Fritz said his department was advised by the police that liquor should be transported to safer premises. 

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Under his instruction, the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) wrote to the Western Cape Police Provincial Commissioner, Lt. General Yolisa Matakata, requesting the police to support liquor license holders in transporting liquor from their licensed premises.

"In consultation with SAPS’ legal services, the necessary protocol was established and has since been communicated by SAPS to all Station Commanders."

For further clarity on the conditions of lockdown, please see the following FAQs:  https://www.westerncape.gov.za/department-of-health/frequently-asked-questions-about-events-and-hospitality

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@SISONKE_MD

[email protected]

Cape Argus

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