326 arrested over New Years in GP

Gauteng police arrested 326 people for alcohol abuse over New Years.


JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng police are investigating the arrests of a police officer and a member of the Defence Force member over New Year's Eve.

Both officials were arrested in the Sebokeng area - one for drunken driving and the other for being drunk in public.

Increased police patrol efforts in the province, including the traditional hot-spot areas of Hillbrow, Sunnyside and Johannesburg Central, led to the arrests of 326 people over Monday and Tuesday.

Deputy Provincial Commissioner for Operations Major General Phumzo Gela said it was not through "luck" that celebrations went peacefully in Gauteng.

"Police visibility has been a major deterrent to restrain communities from breaking the law.

"The active participation of communities also played a major role in ensuring peaceful celebrations," he added.

Provincial police said misconduct over New Year's Eve was misfortunate - especially from its own members.

The officials were two of 237 people arrested for alcohol abuse.

Police spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini said the arrests of the duo showed that the law was equal to all citizens.

"It shows that everyone who breaks the law, whether they're a member of Saps, will be taken into custody."

He said the police's investigation would be important in determining the officials' fitness to occupy their positions.

Meanwhile, 16 illegal shebeens were closed and thousands of litres of alcohol seized.