GEORGE NEWS - Colonel Douw Herbst, Thembalethu Police station commander, said the police have conducted more than 30 operations in Thembalethu since Police Minister Bheki Cele's call to close down all illegal shebeens during his last visit in George on 29 March.
Cele made this call while he was on an official visit at an imbizo held at the Thembalethu Stadium. Asked whether the police has closed down any illegal shebeens after the minister's call, Herbst said they have declared war against the illegal trade of liquor in the area and conducted operations in which they have issued fines. However, Herbst said they can't claim to have closed down these shebeens, because after the police visit these places, the owners start selling again.
"We are working on strategies and engaging a number of stakeholders to ensure that we deal with illicit liquor trade. We have declared war against illegal liquor as we believe that it contributes to crime in Thembalethu," said Herbst.
A statement released by Captain Dumile Gwavu, Thembalethu Police communications officer, said that from 6 April a large quantity of liquor has been confiscated in Zone 6. Liquor has been identified as a contributing factor in contact crimes such as assaults, rapes and murders.
The statement adds that when these shebeens close at night, criminals look for those who walk alone to rape, rob and murder them.
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