After years of conducting prayers and mass with loud music in the background, the Catholic Church in Eersterust had a peaceful mass on Friday night for the first time in years.
This is because Ricardo Winkler, the licensed owner of nearby Cardy’s Pub and Liquor Store, has fired his DJ. Winkler said the church had not spoken to him about loud music, but Catholic priest Father Chris Yonkers said they had tried everything over the years to convince Winkler to respect and consider his neighbours.
“The church has a huge problem with the noise,” he said. “I can’t sleep and the next morning, I am grumpy.
“There are two nuns who live here and we also have a student study house on the church grounds. It is unacceptable. The police have been there many times … but nothing changed.”
Last Wednesday, police raided Winkler’s two businesses after a woman said she was robbed of R22 800 in winnings at an illegal gambling area inside Cardy’s Pub.
When Rachel Petersen refused to leave the premises without her money, she alleged one bouncer used a taser on her and another attacked her with a chair, breaking her arm in four places.
But Winkler dismissed Petersen’s claims, saying she was attacked by one of the patrons and a bouncer tried to stop the fight. But he admitted police confiscated the pub’s alcohol and all the gambling machines as the combined operation was illegal.
Winkler does not have a licence to run a pub and a gambling operation in the same venue. He paid an admission of guilt fine of R1 500 and the police have returned his liquor, but not the gambling machines, as he does not have a licence for them.
Chairperson of the Community Policing Forum Henry Godfrey said they were in the process of approaching the liquor board to find out how Winkler obtained a licence. In the meantime, Winkler has promised to remove alcohol advertisements from the church wall.