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Police minister warns public against fake videos and pulls no punches when it comes to alcohol prohibition laws, saying they should remain in place even after lockdown.Minister Bheki Cele breathes fire.

Minister Bheki Cele breathes fire

Police Minister Bheki Cele has given the clearest indication yet that regulations prohibiting the sale and drinking of alcohol during the lockdown will not be relaxed, even remarking that he wished they were extended beyond this period.Minister Bheki Cele breathes fire

Cele has placed alcohol at the centre of South Africa’s high crime rate. He told City Press during an interview this week that there had been a significant drop in the number of violent crimes reported since the lockdown began on Friday, March 27.

‘I WOULD TAKE BAN BEYOND LOCKDOWN’

The minister said he believed that minimising the use of alcohol was a step in the right direction for the country. He said it was one of the regulations he wished he could continue implementing even beyond the lockdown period.

“My first prize would be that we shut down alcohol, but I know we cannot do that. Nothing tells me that taking alcohol will make life easier,” he said.

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“For South Africa, alcohol has not been the only issue when it comes to regulations relating to the Covid-19 coronavirus. Murder has gone down in South Africa. Even in the butcher of the republic, the Western Cape, murder numbers have really gone down. The impact of the reduction of alcohol has had an impact on ordinary crime, especially violent crime,” added Cele.

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The lockdown had even reduced the number of cashin-transit heists, he said, thanks to the countrywide roadblocks and increased police visibility.

‘JUST STAY HOME AND AVOID TROUBLE’

Reacting to concerns about police brutality during the lockdown, Cele said the police had largely abided by Ramaphosa’s directive that law enforcement agencies behave in an empathetic manner towards communities.

However, he said, the Criminal Procedure Act allowed the police to use force if attacked or threatened by members of the public.

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“People need to understand that we are the law enforcers,” he said, adding that there would be fewer complaints if people simply stayed at home, as per lockdown regulations.

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Source : CityPress

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