President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement to allow the move from Level 4 lockdown restrictions to Level 3 allowing the sale of alcohol from June 1, under strict conditions, could not have come sooner as the ban on alcohol proved deadly for some in the Eastern Cape with nine people confirmed dead, in a space of a week after allegedly drinking homemade brews last week.
Covid-19 hotspots will be closely monitored to determine if they should remain under Level 4 of the lockdown or if they can be allowed to trade liquor as a measure to curb the mushrooming effect of homemade brews.
Eastern Cape police confirmed in a HeraldLive report that three people from the Ndakana administrative area near Stutterheim died after consuming an alcoholic homemade brew on Saturday. It is understood that one person from the trio was rushed to hospital complaining about stomach cramps, an alleged result of the concoction.
Two people were announced dead when help arrived and the third died on the way to the hospital.
The death of the three people came after the death of six other people in the same week, according to Eastern Cape police spokesperson Sibongile Soci.
Three people died in Bumbane village, Keiskammahoek, while three others at the Nonibe village outside King William’s Town last week.
This resulted in a stern warning from police to communities as several dockets in different communities were opened in connection with people drinking different concoctions of beer.
Meanwhile police an inquest docket has been opened to confirm the cause of death of a man and woman suspected to have died after drinking homemade beer in Northern Cape.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Mohale Ramatseba said: “It is alleged a 42-year-old woman was found dead in a flat and a 54-year-old man was found seriously ill on 2 May. The man was rushed to the local hospital where he later died.
“Two empty bottles of homemade brew has been seized for forensic tests.”
An inquest docket has been opened to confirm the cause of their death.