- Police Minister General Bheki Cele wants the police to take a tough stance on those who seek to undermine the lockdown
- He is concerned about the rise in incidents related to alcohol
- A number of police members have been arrested linked to illegal activities surrounding alcohol
Police Minister General Bheki Cele has lashed out at criminals who are targeting liquor stores as 16 incidents in which liquor outlets in the Western Cape were burgled and looted.
He visited the province on Saturday and congratulated Western Cape Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata, on the arrest of 21 suspects who were allegedly involved with the looting of a Shoprite Liquor Store in Langa, Cape Town.
Breifly.co.za learned that Cele was also worried about the alleged involvement in SAPS members in crimes related to liquor during the lockdown. Two warrant officers from the Delft FCS were arrested, along with the manager and cashier from a liquor store in Strand. The police had responded to a tip-off and found suspects illegally selling alcohol.
Another two SAPS members were arrested on Friday. They were escorting three bakkies loaded to the brim with alcohol. The vehicles allegedly belonged to a tavern owner and the liquor was to be resold elsewhere according to IOL.
"In line with the SAPS Anti-Corruption Strategy, the National Commissioner, General Kehla Sitole has sanctioned urgent departmental investigations into the two incidents through which, if found guilty, the members could face dismissal from the service," acting police Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said on Sunday.
"Cele has called for an urgent meeting where together with SAPS management, they will engage liquor retailers to address this problem and work out a collaborative strategy towards mitigating this emerging risk."
The minister issued a strong warning to those who sought to undermine the efforts of the government to slow the spread of Covid-19.
"The general crime picture since the Covid-19 lockdown continues to reflect a decrease and such incidents must therefore be intercepted and the perpetrators arrested. Our law abiding citizens must continue to work with law enforcement against criminals as we together ensure the survival of the human race against the COVID-19," said Cele, acknowledging the unwavering cooperation by the public who continue to give tip-offs, some directly to the Minister and some to the police.
In other news, Briefly.co.za reported that the EFF wants to keep the ban in the sale of alcohol in place.
They claim that there is no scientific reason for lifting the alcohol ban now.
The Beer Association of South Africa and other liquor bodies have appealed to President Cyril Ramaphosa to lift the ban.
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