KwaZulu-Natal Police Commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi has led an operation to clamp down on illegal taverns in KwaMashu north of Durban. The area is among the hotspots for murders and rapes in the province.
On the matter of safety at taverns, last year’s mass shooting at a Pietermaritzburg tavern where four people were killed, raised concerns over security at these establishments.
Mkhwanazi says one of the taverns in KwaMashu did not have any security guards to search people coming into the facility.
“We discovered that it is registered to sell liquor for the sit-in customers but they are not complying to that. They are treating this tavern as a takeaway of consumption as a bottle store so that is one violation, the security in terms of people coming in and out is not there and we know what happened previously in drinking spots where criminals would come in with firearms and they would shoot people inside and they leave. That is why we emphasize the point that security compliance is very much important so that those that are coming in they need to be searched so that they do not come with dangerous weapons inside.”
Mkhwanazi says on-going police operations have also found a number of establishments allowing in under aged patrons.
“But there are many others, the officials are working with the owner that they fine and everything be given to the owner and we hope that they are going to correct all the things but in general. In many other liquor establishments, we find youngsters, underage children especially the females that go to these drinking spots, and when they are drunk unfortunately, they become victims of other crimes like gender based-violence, rape and the likes. Those are some of the violations that we find in these drinking spots.”