Police minister Bheki Cele’s distaste for alcohol consumption and distribution during the height of lockdown sure set Mzansi abuzz this year.

From the onset, after President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a 21-day lockdown from March 26 to curb the spread of Covid-19, Cele made his stance known.

Here is what he had to say about alcohol:

Welcoming liquor ban

In March, six days before the country went into lockdown, Cele welcomed the liquor ban, saying it would reduce crimes such as murder and rape.

At the time, Cele said statistics revealed many crimes were committed by drunk people during the early hours on weekends.

“Also we pick up a lot of dead bodies around three in the morning coming from shebeens, so if we shut down at 6pm, it will have a positive affect,” he said. “There is a good relationship between crime and coronavirus. You must remember alcohol is causing a lot of crime.”In the same month, just a day after lockdown commenced, 55 people were arrested for breaking lockdown laws.

According to Cele, the majority of those who were arrested were from Gauteng and they were “against SA”.

“These people are people that don’t have goodwill — people that are doing exactly what they were told not to do. Some of them were opening their street bashes, some of them were drinking, taking their bush chairs, sitting under the trees and undermining the law,” he said.

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