Two police officers stationed at the Pienaar Police Station in Mpumalanga have been arrested for allegedly illegally escorting three bakkies heavily loaded with liquor.
The two officers were arrested together with the drivers of the bakkies including an owner of a tavern.
Police Spokesperson Vish Naidoo says the two police officers are kept in custody while their co-accused have been released on warning.
“Two police officers from Pienaar Police station were arrested for defeating the ends of Justice and for use of motor vehicle without owner’s consent after they were stopped at a roadblock by the South African National Defence Force. It was found that they were escorting three vehicles fully laden with alcohol. The alcohol is believed to belong to an owner of a tavern.
“The two police officers are in police custody until they appear in court on Tuesday at the Pienaar court and the other three suspects have all been given a warning to also appear in court,” says Naidoo.
Meanwhile, three suspects who broke into a liquor store in Stellenbosch will spend the remainder of the Easter Weekend in lock up.
Western Cape Police spokesperson Novela Potelwa says the suspects allegedly broke a window of the store this morning, took alcohol and fled in a vehicle.
“Traffic officials nearby, manning a roadblock stopped the suspects’ vehicle and discovered the stolen bottles of liquor. Three suspects aged 43; 33 and 29 are expected to appear in court on Tuesday on charges of burglary and theft.”
This week, Police Minister Bheki Cele was in the Western Cape to enforce lockdown regulations. He denounced a crime syndicate in the province targeting liquor stores and outlets.
There have been numerous incidents of looting and at least 14 people, including police officers, have been arrested for breaking into liquor stores in the area.
There have been calls for the government to lift the ban on alcohol with the Beer Association of South Africa saying it would help stem the incidents of looting. But there have also been calls for the ban to remain in place.
Cele said there will be zero tolerance to the sale of alcohol during the remainder of the lockdown.
In this video below Police Minister Bheki Cele condemns alcohol looting:
Graphic below highlights implemented economic measures for the extension of the lockdown: