Explainer: Bheki Cele could face legal challenge over liquor seized

Explainer: Bheki Cele could face legal challenge over liquor seized

- The lockdown regulations concerning alcohol and the sale thereof have caused some confusion

- Citizens caught transporting booze over the weekend have had their stash confiscated

- Briefly.co.za explores why this may well land Police Minister Bheki Cele into some legal trouble

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Police Minister Bheki Cele was recently filmed questioning motorists over the alcohol found in their vehicles.

The offending liquor was confiscated and the motorists in question faced arrest, but this drew the ire of numerous citizens.

Briefly.co.za reported that Level 3 lockdown regulations do not state that the transportation of liquor over the weekend is illegal.

Legal experts believe that the minister and his cronies are overstepping their powers and could even face legal challenges for confiscating alcohol during this stage of the Covid-19 lockdown.

National police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo had withdrawn an earlier statement saying that citizens found travelling with alcohol outside of the stipulated times when purchases are allowed they would be arrested.

READ ALSO: Fact check: No, police can't arrest you for moving booze over weekends

After promptly withdrawing his statement, Naidoo confirmed that it was not an offence to move alcohol over the weekend.

The Citizen reports that Joburg Metro Police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar had put forward that alcohol was not allowed to be moved over the weekend, revealing the confusion over the issue:

“What we are trying to stop is people buying liquor outside the required time. If you have liquor in your possession, you must provide a receipt as well.”

But with no laws backing up the police in this regard, confiscating booze is the equivalent of theft.

News24 reports that Advocate Deon Pool had weighed in on the regulations and the behaviour of the police:

“The problem here is that the regulation does not say you aren’t allowed to transport alcohol. There is no indication in the regulations that you can’t transport alcohol.
"The minister is overreaching by taking people’s private property without having good cause. If it is part of the regulations, then it must be made clear to citizens. The minister is overreaching and can face a legal challenge. He can’t make up the rules as he goes by."

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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