Liquor crackdown closes 200 shebeens
SCORES of illegal shebeens in Cape Town have been closed this year by law enforcement units, which also continue to uncover cases of human trafficking at suspected brothels.
Following random inspections or tip-offs from the public, more than 200 illegal shebeens have been closed this year during joint operations by the City of Cape Town Vice Squad and Liquor Enforcement Unit and the police.
The mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, said operations were focused on premises which “contribute heavily to antisocial behaviour” in communities.
He added that places were also targeted as part of undercover operations.
In the past three months alone, 592 joint inspections were conducted, with 3 105 litres of alcohol confiscated.
The most problematic areas for illegal shebeens, as well as taverns which spark complaints about suspicious activities or unruly patrons, are Elsies River, Khayelitsha, Langa, Wallacedene and Kraaifontein.
During the same period, the city vice squad and the Hawks human trafficking task team have followed up on 56 complaints of suspected brothels.
Vice squad spokesman Nathan Ladegourdie said nine cases of human trafficking had been opened this year. Women as young as 18 were promised work in the city, mostly administration jobs, with salaries of about R10 000 a month.
“As soon as they arrive at the destination, they are forced into these houses and told what they must do. They get assaulted or raped and drugged with substances such as heroin,” Ladegourdie said.
Most street prostitutes and suspected brothels were found in residential areas, including Brooklyn, Milnerton, Table View and certain parts of Bellville. Most of the women involved in cases of human trafficking and street prostitution came from the Eastern Cape, North West, Joburg, Bloemfontein and Pretoria.
However, Ladegourdie said that since the inception of the specialised vice squad, great strides had been made to identify brothels and make arrests.