GEORGE NEWS - Thembalethu Police have confiscated large quantities of liquor from illegal shebeens across Thembalethu between April and June, just over 587 litres.
Illegal shebeens have for the past years been at the centre of the fight against crime in Thembalethu as it is one of the big contributors to crime. Victims are harassed, get raped, assaulted and, in some cases, murdered by criminals either at illegal shebeens, or on their way from them.
Colonel Douw Herbst, Thembalethu Police station commander, previously said that the police has declared war against illegal shebeens.
"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," he said.
Captain Dumile Gwavu, Thembalethu Police communications officer, said just over 587 litres of liquor was confiscated between April and June. He ascribed this to the number of illegal shebeens that have mushroomed the area. "The police have noticed that illegal shebeens are increasing almost daily," he said.
During his visit to George on 29 March prior to the elections, Minister of Police Bheki Cele ordered the police to close down all illegal shebeens in the Western Cape within 48 hours. In a statement released last week Gwavu said their operation emanates from the minister's order.
He said illegal shebeens contribute to an increase in contact crimes such as rape, robbery, assault and murder, mostly when community members leave the liquor outlets. "People tend to walk alone when going home and get stabbed along the way and some of the murder victims are unknown. Operations are conducted every week on any day for those illegal shebeens to be closed by the police," said Gwavu.
Illegal shebeen owners are fined an amount of R1 500 for selling liquor without a license.
'We bring you the latest George, Garden Route news'