A video doing the rounds on social media depicting a what looks like a police van allegedly delivering liquor to residents may not be as scandalous as it is made out to be.
According to police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo, the video’s source was yet to be established, and due to the recirculation of the clip in question, it had become increasingly difficult for police to understand the context of the video.
In the footage, residents can be heard murmuring and laughing while filming from a property across the street. A group of men are waiting behind an open van, with some quickly transporting goods from the van into the property.
The van looks like those used by the South African Police Service (SAPS) but Naidoo said that “it might look like a cop van, but it’s not clear”.
He said the property might be a police station and not a private residence, and pointed out that no police officers in uniform appear in the footage. He also explained that what the men in the video were carrying could not be confirmed to be alcohol.
“We are trying to be objective,” he said.
The caption of one of the users who shared the video was “Cops delivering booze…”, an “assumption” Naidoo said all those who shared the video now regret doing so.
“They all say they now realise it was a mistake because they don’t have the context.”
Police are inquiring and have asked numerous social media users where they got the original footage from. At this point, the origin of the video is not yet known, and neither is the area where it was filmed.
It has not yet been removed from social media sites.
Until these details were clarified, Naidoo said no one could assume that the van belonged to police or that police were involved in the incident.
Alcohol sales are still banned in South Africa under the current adjusted lockdown level 3 strategy. The ban, instituted in December 2020, was extended on Monday night by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Updates to follow as more information is made available.