Clampdown on alcohol
Police close taverns in sting operation
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.