Dry Heritage Day: Bheki Cele says no to off-site alcohol sales

- Bheki Cele has warned that the off-site sale of booze on Heritage Day is not permitted

- The Police Minister said restaurants, bars and other licensed premises would face the wrath of the law should they not adhere to the lockdown Level 1 rules

- Under Level 1, off-site alcohol sales are permitted from Mondays to Fridays between 9am and 5pm

- However, weekends and public holidays are excluded, meaning that even though Heritage Day falls on a Thursday, off-site booze sales are prohibited

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Police Minister Bheki Cele is not letting the booze thing go. The minister warned restaurants, bars and taverns that the take-away sales of alcohol will not be allowed on Heritage Day.

South Africa recently moved down to lockdown Level 1, which permits the off-site sale of alcohol from Monday to Friday between the hours of 9am and 5pm.

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However, this regulation does not include weekends and public holidays, meaning that even though Heritage Day falls on a Thursday, people won't be able to buy alcohol from bottle stores or as takeaways from sit down establishments.

TimesLIVE reported South Africans will be allowed to buy booze from pubs, bars, taverns, and hospitality venues after 9am on Thursday.

Cele said any establishment that disregards this regulation will be punished for breaking the law.

“I want to remind all business owners who insist on flouting the rules that the long arm of the law will catch up with you and you will lose your operating licence," the minister warned.

He said:

“Alcohol can be sold and consumed at licensed premises, but not before 9am and not after midnight. Alcohol cannot be sold as takeaways. It must be consumed on the premises where it was bought.”

Cele also added the police will continue to enforce the curfew, which is from midnight until 4 am. eNCA reported that Cele said those who break the lockdown rules will be arrested.

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Thus far, over 300 000 South Africans have been taken into custody for violating the lockdown regulations.

Meanwhile, Briefly.co.za previously reported Cele says that farm attacks and murders will not be classified as priority crimes. The minister explained that this is because these attacks usually involve incidents classified as aggravated robbery on a farm or dwelling.

While the minister says that these crimes will not be made a priority, he did confirm that they include the most 'serious crimes' that the SAPS investigates:

"The crimes associated with farm attacks are, therefore, included in the most serious category of crimes SAPS reports on."

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