The South African Police Service’s (SAPS) crime prevention unit team in Protea Glen arrested a 53-year-old woman on charges of bribery and contravening the Disaster Management Act after she was found selling alcohol despite the ban on liquor sales.
“Anyone who is to be found selling liquor like the 53-year-old woman is to be arrested and has to appear in court,” said Protea Glen SAPS spokesperson, Sergeant Vincent Mashiteng.
According to Mashiteng, the police officers were patrolling the community when suddenly a man carrying something suspected to be booze appeared from a local liquor store.
“The man was stopped by the police and probed, he turned out to be carrying alcohol.”
“The man outright told the police that he bought the alcohol from the local liquor store before he was taken to the store by the police.
“Upon arrival, he pointed out the woman who allegedly sold him the alcohol and was the owner of the house from where she sold liquor during the ban.”
Mashiteng said that the woman was admitted to the station for selling alcohol during the lockdown and also made an attempt to bribe the police officers.
“The woman is said to have attempted to bribe the police officers by offering them an undisclosed amount of money, which was an addition to her breaking the law.”
The police officers also confiscated cases of various types of alcohol ranging from beers, wines, and ciders. The suspect is expected to appear in court soon.
“People must know that selling or buying alcohol during the lockdown while it’s declared to be banned is a criminal offense.”
Meanwhile last week, the National Liquor Traders Council (NLTC) pleaded with government to save the 34,500 taverns that are closed due to the ban on alcohol sales.
The council said that the taverns were essential to the township economy and that it is estimated by the department of trade, industry and competition to be worth between R40 billion and R60 billion annually.
The council is also seeking a government support grant for its taverns via a once-off payment of R20,000 each, which will require further support of R690 million, it says in a statement.
NLTC convener Lucky Ntimane called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to outline when the ban on alcohol sales will be lifted and under what conditions.
“If the government acts now and lifts the ban, we can begin to recover and prevent this catastrophe,” he said.
This article first appeared on Soweto Urban and was republished with permission.