11 police officers in Eastern Cape fired for smuggling alcohol during Level 5 lockdown

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Eleven police officers in the Eastern Cape have been dismissed for smuggling alcohol during Level 5 of the COVID-19 lockdown.

Eastern Cape Provincial Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga revealed this during the launch of the Safer Festive season operation in Mthatha.

The police will again focus on illegal alcohol sales during the festive season, promising swift and action against transgressors. During the past year, alcohol worth more than a billion rand has been confiscated in the Eastern Cape.

The confiscated alcohol was disposed of as part of the programmes around the launch of the Safer Season campaign. Lieutenant General Ntshinga says the police will apply the law to everybody who does not comply.

“During  COVID-19 remember everybody was indoors, everybody wanted to get out and get liquor, so we did have those case of our policemen who were transporting liquor during COVID-19. We arrested them, they went through the courts, others went through internal disciplinary hearings and they were all discharged from the service and it is about eleven of them that were discharged from the service.”

The Eastern Cape Community Policing Forum Chairperson Velani Gola says he welcomes the news of the dismissal of the eleven police officers.

“Effectively and much to our happiness is the firing of eleven police officials who were caught smuggling alcohol during the process of lockdown regulations, but as much as we say that we say there must be a distinction between what is fact and what is allegations because in the end the same police service that we sometimes demonise are the still the same police that render services for our protection.”

The MEC for Safety and Liason, Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe, has commended the work of the police.

“Law enforcement officers have been in operations in all the regions and districts. It was a provincial programme to check and monitor the liquor outlets whether they are complying. All the liquor from those that were non-complying with the conditions of the license, their liquor was confiscated.”

Alcohol abuse is regarded as a contributor to violence against women and children and the collapse of family structures. People are urged to drink responsibly and respect the rights of others.

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