Bheki Cele Blasted For Letting ‘His Own Grudges’ Influence Alcohol Ban

In an interview with the Sunday Times, Bheki Cele said he simply ‘does not care about his popularity status’ and will continue his strict enforcement of the law regardless.

Bheki Cele Blasted For Letting ‘His Own Grudges’ Influence Alcohol Ban-SurgeZirc SA
Bheki Cele/Photo File: News24

Death, taxes, and Bheki Cele saying something outrageous: These are three things guaranteed in life, and just like clockwork, the police minister has made some truly head-turning remarks this weekend. According to the ANC veteran, his own personal experiences with liquor have influenced the enforcement of South Africa’s alcohol ban.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, Bheki Cele said he simply ‘does not care about his popularity status’ and will continue his strict enforcement of the law regardless. He recounted several stories of friends who had allegedly ruined their lives through booze – but failed to acknowledge the sinister spectre of gender-based violence in his anecdote.

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“I have seen alcohol finishing friends. [One] was a high-flying man. He died because of alcohol. I saw a [drunk] friend shoot his wife. I saw alcohol stripping people of dignity, progress & wealth. I don’t have much good to say about alcohol,” he said.

This is, well, beyond problematic. The minister, somewhat unashamedly, revealed that his personal reasons have been a driving factor in the enforcement of the alcohol ban. The liquor industry stands to lose thousands of jobs this year, and the economic devastation is likely to rack-up a multi-billion rand tab. Twitter users were less than impressed:

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Herman Mashaba also joined the choir of disapproval on Sunday. The ActionSA leader told Bheki Cele to rather ‘look at the company he keeps’, instead of demonising the millions of sensible liquor consumers in Mzansi:

“The South African economy is being battered, people losing jobs, families, and loved ones. The Minister of Police hates alcohol because his circle of his friends abuse alcohol. Alcohol ban must remain because of friends the Minister keeps,” he said.

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