- Bheki Cele has issued locals with some stern warnings as the clock winds down to Christmas and New Year's Eve ticks
- Speaking at a ministerial tour in KZN, the Police Minister said music and alcohol will not be tolerated after midnight
- Cele warned that anyone arrested from Friday will only have their matter heard in court on Wednesday next week
- As usual, locals were irked by Cele's remarks on social media and directed harsh criticism at him for his alcohol stance
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DURBAN - South Africans have a couple of strict lockdown Level 1 restrictions to abide by, particularly on Christmas Day and New Year's Eve, Minister of Police Bheki Cele has warned.
This means there will be no Gqom music to burn the midnight oil with for festive locals. Drinking booze after midnight is also out of the question, and anyone who dares to defy these orders will have law enforcement to answer to, TimesLIVE reported.
Bheki Cele plans to enforce curfew on New Year's Eve, warns about drinking and staying out past midnight
Cele has instructed members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) to adopt a "no-nonsense" approach amid the festive celebrations which, usually, take on a rowdy and disorderly nature.
While speaking amid the government's Safer Festive Season Ministerial Tour in KwaZulu-Natal on Friday, Cele stressed that police will not hesitate to enforce the curfew by, among other things, confiscating alcohol at 11 pm.
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Several warnings served up
On the current lockdown alert level, the curfew are 12 am to 4 am. Those who enjoy their music loud and playing long into the night will also feel poorer, as this, too, will not be tolerated.
"There will be no Gqom after midnight. When you go around and hear Gqom and people singing, remind them that the time to close those down has come. The law stipulates that nobody will move, drink and get drunk after midnight," Cele said.
The minister, who recently oversaw the destruction of thousands of litres of illegal alcohol in Cape Town, further warned that anyone arrested for contravening the law from Friday will only have their matter attended to on Wednesday next week.
According to IOL, he also warned people about disrupting major highways, saying they would face the full might of the law. He said officers would be deployed across the province for the duration of the festive period.
Citizens will not hear it
South Africans, as is often the case, were irked by Cele's remarks. Many lambasted him for his supposedly heavy-handed approach to alcohol. Many have argued it overshadows the attention given to more serious crimes, including gender-based violence.
Briefly News went down the comments section to bring readers netizens' response to Cele's latest comments.
@Hloniphile Nkosi wrote:
"The one and only Minister of Alcohol in the whole world."
@elebogile Faith Senne said:
"The man clearly has some PTSD that is triggered by alcohol. It is no longer a laughing matter."
@Pogiso Charlie Matlala added:
"This man needs to go for therapy, he is dealing with some alcohol-related issues. How can one be so opposed to stopping people from drinking? This energy he has towards alcohol should be directed to solving crimes like GBV and drugs."
Police to not hesitate when confronted by 'gun-toting thugs'
Elsewhere, Briefly News recently reported that Cele is urging SAPS members to act decisively when confronted by a criminal in possession of a dangerous weapon. However, the minister was careful not to allude to his infamous "shoot-to-kill" ideology, News24 reported.
Instead, while addressing a Safer Festive Season Inspection Tour in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday, he reminded the men and women in blue that they deal with hardened criminals who would not hesitate to pull the trigger first if caught up in a dangerous situation.
"You are the country’s assets. You are [only] useful when you are alive and well. While you work to enforce the law this festive season, I encourage you to protect yourselves as stipulated by the law," Cele said.
Source: Briefly News