Police Ministry spokesperson Lirandzu Themba has defended Police Minister Bheki Cele from South Africans who accused him of focusing his energy on “useless” things, after the minister joined police in destroying alcohol on Monday.
The minister undertook his #SaferFestiveSeason inspection in the Western Cape and addressed members of the South African Police Service (SAPS), calling on them to saturate the province and “squeeze the space for criminals” this festive season.
Cele also destroyed litres of alcohol that had been confiscated by the SAPS from illegal establishments and police search and seizure operations conducted across the Cape Town metro from 15 October to 16 December 2021.
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According to Themba, over 150,000 litres of liquor have been destroyed from 1 April – 30 November 2021, with the majority of the booze taken from the Nyanga, Milnerton, Khayelitsha, Delft, Harare and Gugulethu policing precincts.
“These areas have also recorded the highest figures in violent crime,” she said.
But Cele has been advised to go for counselling to get over his “obsession” with alcohol and start dealing with “real” crimes such as murder and other crimes that “directly affect” the lives of South Africans.
However, the anger of South Africans towards Cele’s actions is unjustified as alcohol is a “major” contributor of crime, according to Themba.
“People are likely to get assaulted, raped or murdered at the home of the victim or perpetrator, public places and liquor outlets. So closing down illicit drinking places goes a long way in the fight against crime,” she said in defence of the minister.
“Liquor is a major crime contributor. Crime Stats show that Alcohol and drugs were involved in 3 695 of the assault GBH cases. The top three areas of occurrence of these assaults are at the home of the victim or perpetrator, public places and liquor outlets.
“Liquor and drugs were involved in 1,383 of the rape cases reported from July to September this year.”