In Quotes| Bheki Cele issues warning on public drinking and buying illegal booze during ban

16 July 2020 - 08:31 By Unathi Nkanjeni
Police minister Bheki Cele put his foot down about drinking during level 3 lockdown.
Police minister Bheki Cele put his foot down about drinking during level 3 lockdown.

Police minister Bheki Cele has warned that drinking of alcohol in public will result in prosecution.

Speaking during the justice, crime prevention, and security cluster briefing, Cele said alcohol was allowed to be consumed in private but cannot be transported or consumed in public places.

Here are five critical quotes from Cele.

Private consumption

“Alcohol may be consumed in private but it may not be transported, sold or dispensed at any liquor outlet, whether bottle store, bar, shebeen or restaurant.

“People are allowed to drink alcohol in private, inside their homes or their yards but not in public spaces, on pavements or in their vehicles.”

Drinking with neighbours

“You cannot take your alcohol next door and drink there. Cele can’t go to Mthembu. Cele must drink by Cele and Mthembu by Mthembu.

“Once you come together that’s a gathering. As you have said, if you drink in the car on the road, that’s public. If you really want to drink in a car, park it in the garage. You can drink there.” 


“Law enforcement officials have been instructed to act resolutely to enforce compliance with the regulations, arresting those who breach the regulations and ensuring that they are successfully prosecuted.

“Convictions will result in either fines or jail terms depending on the discretion of the court.”

Don't buy illegal booze

“The cluster is appealing to the public not to buy any alcohol during this time as all alcohol sales are now illegal. If anyone is caught doing so, they will also be prosecuted.

“The cluster is urging communities to work with law enforcement agencies and officials to continue reporting anyone transgressing the regulations. It is critical to remember too that the sale of cigarettes, tobacco products, and e-cigarettes remains prohibited at this time and subject to the same sanctions as those found selling alcohol.

No after tears

“The cluster has noticed an increase in social gatherings before and after funerals. The night vigil before the burial and the so-called 'after tears' following the burial, remain prohibited gatherings. No alcohol may be consumed at the actual funeral either.

“Please, don’t make us arrest people at funerals. It is a painful thing to do. If you go to funerals and drink there, organisers and the family will have to take care that it doesn’t happen.”