NATIONAL NEWS - Police Minister Bheki Cele has been highly criticised for his “oversimplified crime-fighting strategy” that was “daft” and “embarrassing”.
The police minister told City Press he wished the alcohol ban in the country could be extended beyond the 21-day national lockdown because of the significant drop in the number of violent crimes reported.
He told the publication: “It is a known thing that alcohol is part of the crime generators … [When it comes to] most people who are murdered or sexually abused, it usually starts on Thursday until the end of the weekend [and] those people will be found at alcohol outlets. 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.”
Cele’s comment came after he highlighted the alarming figure of 87,000 gender-based violence cases reported during the nationwide lockdown.
Speaking at the National Coronavirus Command Council on Thursday tabling that police had already arrested more than 17,000 people since the beginning of the lockdown, Cele highlighted the concerning issue of domestic violence.
Although he couldn’t confirm the rate of arrests in relation to the reported cases, he did confirm that the figure of gender-based violence cases included a police officer who was arrested for allegedly raping his wife.
“87,000 people have phoned in reporting that there might be gender-based violence in their houses.”
Responding to a comment accusing Cele of “oversimplifying” his crime-fighting strategy, DA MP Phumzile Van Damme said it was “daft” and “embarrassing”, while others just could not imagine a South Africa without alcohol.
(Additional reporting by Gopolang Moloko)