A 49-year-old man was arrested by Klerksdorp SAPS in the North West on Thursday 7 January for being in possession of various types of liquor and selling it under the current alcohol ban under Level 3 lockdown.
Due to a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations, President Cyril Ramaphosa and the national government recently took the decision to do away with alcohol. So far, there have been reports that the ban has decreased trauma cases, making room for COVID-19 patients, however, those who earn a living from the alcohol industry are gutted and worried as to how they will take care of their families. The alcohol ban, as well as, other restrictions will be reviewed on 15 January 2021.
The police acted swiftly following a tip-off about lots of liquor being sold and stored in the backyard of a business operating for a different purpose. According to the police statement, the alcohol was found at the man’s residential place in Meiringspark.
On arrival, they searched the house and found liquor which the suspect denied having on the initial interview. He later confessed that he was selling it, thus, he was immediately issued with a R3 000 fine for contravening Regulation 77 (1)(b) which prohibits the sale, dispensing and distribution of liquor.
“As a result, liquor worth R125 000 was confiscated,” said Sergeant Amogelang Malwetse.
It seems the 49-year-old man in the North West was not the only one going against Level 3 lockdown regulations by means of alcohol.
Members of the Public Order Police in Postmasburg arrested 14 suspects on Thursday in connection with malicious damage to state property, incitement to public violence and contravention of the National Disaster Management Act.
“The arrest of the fourteen suspects, that is twelve male and two female suspects aged between19 and 35, is a sequel to 300 young people who were drinking in public on 31 December 2020 in Postmasburg at about 22:00,” said Brigadier Mohale Ramatseba.
“Police tried to intervene and were pelted with stones and beer bottles. Three police vehicles were damaged and damages are estimated at R250 000,” added Ramatseba.
Acting Provincial Commissioner Major General Henriette de Waal welcomed the arrest of the suspects so that they may face the full might of the law.
“Compliance with the National Disaster Management Act Regulations is non-negotiable and defaulters will be dealt with in accordance with the law,” emphasised Major General de Waal.
The suspects are expected to appear before the local Magistrates Court soon and police investigations are continuing.