Liquor forum calls for alcohol sales

File: The council says there will be dire consequences for its more than 34,000 tavern owners and shebeen permit holders.

File: The council says there will be dire consequences for its more than 34,000 tavern owners and shebeen permit holders.

AFP/Stephane de Sakutin

JOHANNESBURG - Opposition continues to grow over the banning of alcohol sales during the national lockdown.

The Gauteng Liquor Forum is threatening to go to court unless government lifts the current ban on alcohol sales.

READ: SA Lockdown: No alcohol will be sold

The forum represents about 20,000 liquor businesses and argues the ban is unreasonable and unconstitutional.

"It is exactly the prohibition on the selling of alcohol by our clients during the lockdown period which is at the epicentre of the present challenge by our clients," the forum said in a statement.

READ: SA Lockdown: Criminals target liquor stores

It says less restrictive measures could have been taken and argued that they weren't consulted about the decision to extend the lockdown.

Meanwhile, Police Minister Bheki Cele says numerous arrests have been made after at least 14 bottle stores were broken into.

READ: Decrease in serious crimes due to unavailability of alcohol: Cele

He says this is organised crime as some store managers were caught collaborating with two police officers. The officers have since been arrested.

Cele says law enforcement will come down harder on shebeens that continue to supply alcohol during the lockdown.

He says not only will liquor be confiscated and people arrested, but officers will also destroy the infrastructure.

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eNCA