We had valid reasons to move booze: SA Breweries stands firm after arrests
Lawyers have been appointed to assist South African Breweries (SAB) staff arrested by Gauteng authorities, the company said as it lashed out against accusations it was breaking the Covid-19 lockdown regulations.
Seven SAB employees and two third-party drivers were arrested on Wednesday and their loads impounded.
The company said it has since engaged both the department of trade and industry (DTI) and police to clarify its "orderly wind-down measures" and has "subsequently shared all requisite approvals and permits".
The movement of the alcohol at its seven breweries was specifically provided for in the lockdown regulations, said the company.
"The alcohol in transit at the time of arrest and seizure was packaged inventory which had to be moved to an SAB-owned offsite storage facility as our warehouse storage capacity at the breweries had reached permissible limits," it said.
"The alcohol seized was not for sale or distribution and was always in SAB’s possession.
"Further to this, permission to transport a portion of our packed inventory had been obtained."
Emphasising it was operating within the confines of the law, the company said it would assist those placed under arrest.
"All employees who have been confronted by the police are being assisted with the aid of our legal representative Bowmans as well as SAB’s internal legal counsel."