Bheki Cele Trends After Flushing Down Thousands of Litres of Booze: 'Minister of Alcohol'

Bheki Cele Trends After Flushing Down Thousands of Litres of Booze: 'Minister of Alcohol'

  • Police Minister Bheki Cele was in Cape Town to oversee thousands of litres of alcohol being destroyed on Monday
  • As part of a safer festive season tour, 20 000 litres of alcohol was poured down the drain at a liquor storage facility
  • The illegal alcohol was reportedly confiscated at illicit shebeens across the province to curb high levels of crime
  • South Africans were irked on social media, with many slamming Cele for supposedly having misguided priorities

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CAPE TOWN - A social media windstorm swept across South Africa on Monday as videos surfaced showing Minister of Police Bheki Cele flushing thousands of litres of alcohol down the drain in Cape Town.

Cele and the South African Police Service (SAPS)'s bid constitute a festive season ministerial inspection tour of the Western Cape where 20 000 litres of alcohol was destroyed at the police's central liquor storage facility at 35 Squadron in Belhar.

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Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, Cape Town, Alcohol, Destruction, Festive season, Liquor storage facility, 35 Squadron in Belhar, Illegal, Shebeens, Western Cape, Nyanga, Khayelitsha, Delft
Bheki Cele has become public enemy number one in South Africa over his alcohol stance. Image: @ewnreporter
Source: Twitter

The minister noted the alcohol was confiscated at illicit shebeens in the province, with the move to have it destroyed forming part of a concerted approach towards curbing the high levels of crime in the country, News24 reported.

Cele was adamant alcohol is one of the main contributors to violent crime in the country and that getting rid of it goes some way towards curbing various other social ills.

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More than a ton of booze seized

According to The Citizen, Cele's spokesperson, Lirandzu Themba, defended the minister's decision to destroy the large quantities of alcohol, citing it as a driving force behind crime.

Further reports suggested about 150 000 litres of alcohol confiscated by the SAPS during search and seizure operations at illegally operating establishments across the Cape Town metropole, including Nyanga, Khayelitsha, and Delft, in the two months from 15 October to 16 December 2021, were also destroyed.

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Six arrested for suspected stolen alcohol

Meanwhile, in Gauteng, provincial police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Mavela Masondo specifically told Briefly News that four suspects were arrested by SAPS' Highway Patrol Unit after about 37 boxes of suspected stolen alcohol were found in their possession on Monday.

A further two men were arrested after attempting to bribe officers for the release of their four accomplices after a small cache was uncovered in two suburbs in the East Rand. According to Masondo, the suspects offered to pay the SAPS members an amount of R10 000 so they could all be released.

"Officers were conducting patrols on the N12 when they noticed a Hyundai H1 that roused their suspicions. They stopped the white panel bus, which at the time, was only occupied by the driver," Masondo told Briefly News.
"The vehicle was searched, and upon closer inspection, officers found at least 12 boxes of alcohol, for which the driver failed to provide a receipt. Police were then led to Benoni and Boksburg, where three more suspects were arrested after about 25 boxes of alcohol were found stored inside a truck."

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Masondo said the four suspects were arrested and charged with being in possession of the suspected stolen property. In all, six suspects are expected to appear in the Boksburg Magistrate's Court on various charges this week.

"At the scene, two men approached the officers with an offer of R10 000 so all six of them could be released and for their vehicles not to be impounded. However, the members refused to accept and arrested the duo for attempting to bribe them," added Masondo.

Citizens not accepting of minister's move

Despite Themba's justifications for Cele's move, locals on social media were vexed and directed a slew of harsh criticism at the minister and his police force. Many argued that a blind eye was being turned towards "actual serious crimes" such as rape and murder.

Social media users also made sure to advise Cele to go for counselling to get over his well-documented "obsession" with alcohol. Below, Briefly News takes a look at some of the most heated responses South Africans had to the development in Cape Town.

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@dramadelinquent wrote:

"Now show us the rapists and abusers that you’ve caught and jailed."

@mluduma30 said:

"Akuve kudlalwa ngathi kodwa. This is the lowest of the low. Alcohol is not such a priority when it comes to crime issues, why parade this and have media, what for? Murders and armed robberies are at an all-time high but it’s business as usual for him instead his pride is this."

@NalediLight added:

"As his spokesperson, Can you please point out to the public the one time Bheki Cele actually did something remotely related to combating crime? The real crime, like rape, murder, kidnapping, trafficking, & drugs... those sorts of things."

Bheki Cele says the police are ready for unrest

Elsewhere, Briefly News recently reported that Cele reassured South Africans that SAPS and other law enforcement agencies such as the army are well-prepared to handle any unrest that might possibly arise.

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Cele's remarks come after the Pretoria High Court ruled earlier this week that former President Jacob Zuma will have to back to prison because his medical parole was awarded illegally. According to TimesLIVE, Msholozi has geared up to fight the ruling and will launch an appeal in the near future.

Cele stated during a media briefing held by the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster (JCPS) they have learned lessons from the riots in July. He added that experiences of the unrest will help the cluster combat riots in future.

Source: Briefly News

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