Clampdown on al­co­hol

Po­lice close tav­erns in sting op­er­a­tion

The Rep - - FRONT PAGE - SIMTEMBILE MGIDI

FOUR of 11 Mlungisi tav­erns tar­geted as part of Op­er­a­tion Fiela 2, which is aim­ing at ad­dress­ing al­co­hol-re­lated crimes in the Eastern Cape, had their doors closed by po­lice at the week­end.

The op­er­a­tion was headed by the po­lice in con­junc­tion with the Eastern Cape Liquor Board and the home af­fairs im­mi­gra­tion team. The lat­ter team was due to check on the va­lid­ity of trad­ing li­cences of for­eign na­tion­als op­er­at­ing tav­erns.

Op­er­a­tion com­man­der and Ko­mani clus­ter com­man­der Ma­jor Gen­eral Tem­bisile Patek­ile led the op­er­a­tion which was aimed at vis­it­ing tav­erns sus­pected of op­er­at­ing il­le­gally. This fol­lowed as part of at­tempts to ad­dress the di­rect link be­tween al­co­hol abuse and crime in the prov­ince.

Po­lice spokesman Cap­tain Namhla Mdle­leni said this week, “The pro­vin­cial po­lice have recog­nised that, with most of the crimes tak­ing place, al­co­hol is a root cause. Vic­tims com­ing back from tav­erns late at night are vul­ner­a­ble while walk­ing home. They ei­ther be­come vic­tims of rape or are stabbed. They gen­er­ally be­come tar­gets of crim­i­nals.”

The Ko­mani op­er­a­tion, which formed part of a pro­vin­cial cam­paign, found four tav­erns op­er­at­ing with­out li­cences and shut them down.

Mdle­leni said an ap­peal was be­ing made to tav­ern own­ers to look af­ter their pa­trons.

“If they no­tice that some­one is in dan­ger, they should take care of them, es­pe­cially when it per­tains to women,” she said.

Mdle­leni also cau­tioned peo­ple not to walk alone, but in groups at night and to stay away from bushy, dark ar­eas.

The Eastern Cape Liquor Board (ECLB) com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fice con­firmed that the ECLB had joined the po­lice op­er­a­tion to fight against “in­con­sid­er­ate trad­ing in liquor, in­clud­ing sell­ing of liquor with­out a valid liquor li­cence”.

ECLB said a con­sol­i­dated re­port would be re­leased soon, with de­tailed in­for­ma­tion on the blitz op­er­a­tion.

The department of home af­fairs im­mi­gra­tion team in Ko­mani de­clined to com­ment due to in­ter­nal pro­cesses still un­der way.

The po­lice in­di­cated that the num­bers re­lat­ing to al­co­hol seized dur­ing the cam­paign would be re­leased once all data had been col­lected.

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