Police Minister Bheki Cele. Photo: Tracy Lee Stark.
If Thabo Mbeki were still leading the country, we might have all been eating beetroot to fight the coronavirus pandemic. And if JZ was in charge….
Instead, we have the elegant Mr Ramaphosa, who has shown nothing but great statesmanship throughout this crisis. He makes me proud to call myself South African.
Some members of his cabinet, however, inspire less confidence.
Take Bheki Cele and his lone crusade against alcohol and tobacco, for example.
Thanks to him, I have dug my cowboy boots out of storage, and polished them back to their former glory. Gentlemen with Cele’s elegance will never fail to impress me.
But his remarks about banning booze permanently, his clampdown on smoking in these trying times…
A government can only pay their ministers enough to afford Battersbys and Stetsons if they get enough taxes, sir.
Our economy can ill-afford to lose billions in sin taxes. The necessity of the lockdown has already dried up the state’s revenue from VAT, fuel levies, income tax and dozens of other sources.
This week, some people tweeted that your hatred for liquor stems from an incident seven years ago when burglars stole whisky valued at more than R3,000 from your Umhlanga residence.
They reportedly drank one of the bottles, which they found in a car in your garage, and made off with the other two while you were sleeping in the house.
I don’t worry if shops sell liquor – I don’t drink. But it’s my choice, not yours, Mr Cele.
The brave men and women in blue under your command have the reputation, deservedly or not, that they tend to manhandle the good citizens at times.
On Wednesday a friend called.
“About 13 police officers and two cars full of private security officers, armed with semi-automatic rifles and wearing bullet-proof vests, bust the spaza under my flat. It was brutal,” he said. “They cable-tied the three Bangladeshi shopkeepers, roughed them up a bit and threw them in a van.”
Apparently the shopkeepers sold cigarettes to regular clients…
Seriously, Mr Cele? Close to 20 law enforcement officers. For cigarettes? Don’t we have more serious crimes?
It’s in nobody’s interest to make the people also think you don’t care for their comfort while they abide by the fair rules of this state of disaster.
Dirk Lotriet. Picture: Alaister Russell
For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.
BACK TO CITIZEN
BACK TO PREMIUM
The Citizen. All rights