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WATCH | 'Minister of alcohol' Bheki Cele destroys booze in Western Cape

Wine, spirits and beer were flushed away by the minister in the presence of provincial SAPS and community safety MEC Albert Fritz

21 December 2021 - 09:30
Police minister Bheki Cele destroyed heaps of alcohol in the Western Cape on Monday. File photo.
Police minister Bheki Cele destroyed heaps of alcohol in the Western Cape on Monday. File photo.
Image: Freddy Mavunda/Business Day

Law enforcement will adopt a zero-tolerance approach to illegal alcohol traders in SA, police minister Bheki Cele said on Monday.

He was speaking at a festive season ministerial inspection tour of the Western Cape, where alcohol from illegal establishments was destroyed.

Wine, spirits and beer were flushed away by the minister in the presence of provincial SAPS and community safety MEC Albert Fritz. 

Cele said the alcohol had been kept in a liquor port after it was confiscated.

He said 20,000 litres were destroyed and police were awaiting court processes to destroy a further 50,000l

“The liquor that was destroyed was traded illegally. This has nothing to do with the legal shebeens, taverns and outlets. We shall not allow people to trade illegally when it comes to alcohol,” he said. 

Cele said alcohol was a huge contributor to violent crimes such as murder, rape and assault, and called on owners of shebeens and other establishments to ensure the safety of their consumers and communities. 

The minister said though police were cracking down on illegal establishments, legal traders were not exempt from accountability if they broke the law. 

“There is no under-18 that is supposed to be in the shebeen. If you do that and you don't close when you are supposed to close, and people fight and murder one another around your premises, remember, they are responsible as a host [to ensure] that people are safe.”

On social media, he received mixed responses:

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