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‘Please, don’t make us arrest people at funerals’: Cele says no ‘after tears’

Under lockdown level 3, no more than 50 people are allowed to attend a funeral service.

FILE: Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

CAPE TOWN – Police Minister Bheki Cele has urged people to avoid social gatherings such as funerals amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Under lockdown level 3, no more than 50 people are allowed to attend a funeral service. Cele has warned South Africans against “after tears” ceremonies.

“We have seen an increase of these after tears. Please, don’t make us arrest people at funerals. It is a painful thing to do. If you go to funerals and drink there, organisers and the family will have to take care that it doesn’t happen.”

Cele made the comments during a Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster (JCPS) briefing on Wednesday.

He also reiterated that parties were not allowed.

“You cannot take your alcohol next door and drink there. Cele can’t go to Mthembu. Cele must drink by Cele and Mthembu by Mthembu.

"Once you come together that’s a gathering. As you have said, if you drink in car in the road, that’s public. If you really want to drink in a car, park it in the garage. You can drink there,” the minister quipped.

He warned that police would increase patrols and would not allow the sale of alcohol.

“There will also be random stop and search operations to ensure the prohibition of the trade of alcohol and tobacco is not being subverted. Law enforcement officials will depend on the cooperation of community members.”

Earlier this week, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma explained why government had decided to ban the sale of alcohol.

“When there was an absolute prohibition on the sale of alcohol, the overall number of visits to trauma units in South Africa dropped from 42,700 to approximately 15,000 visits.

“Following the lifting of the prohibition on the sale, transportation and dispensing of liquor in alert level 3, health facilities have seen a substantial rise in alcohol related trauma injuries and death, resulting in added strain on the capacity of health facilities.”

WATCH: JCPS briefing

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