Mbalula calls for stricter alcohol laws, says 'people are out of control'

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula made the call during a briefing on Monday after three Tshwane metro police officers were killed in a head-on collision with a suspected drunk driver over the weekend.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula pictured on 24 August 2020 when he visited the families of three cops killed in an accident with a suspected drunk driver. Picture: @MbalulaFikile/Twitter

CAPE TOWN – Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said that South Africa must review its alcohol laws, as “people are out of control”.

Mbalula on Monday visited the families of three Tshwane metro police officers who died in a head-on collision with a suspected drunk driver over the weekend.

The officers had responded to a request for back-up. The alleged drunk driver was killed in the accident, while a woman who was in the suspect's vehicle was hospitalised. It’s understood that alcohol was found in the suspect’s vehicle.

“This over access of alcohol, we drink from 6-6, it’s over and must come to an end. At some point, people can drink but when it’s 10pm they must know it’s over, whether there is COVID-19 (or not), we must review our laws in terms of alcohol access.”

While visiting the families of the police officers, Mbalula said that he was “deeply saddened”.

“I am deeply saddened by the untimely passing. We thank them for their service to the nation and commend them for their bravery.”

He said that the country needed to review its laws on alcohol access.

“As a country, we need to review our laws on the access of alcohol. We need to address this as it continues to kill our people on roads and everywhere.”

The minister said that issues surrounding the country’s laws on alcohol were raised before the pandemic and would be addressed.

“There is over access for people to get alcohol. People are out of control. We must now put our heads together. When government acts, nobody is going to say it’s unfair. It’s not about corona[virus]. This thing has been there.”

During a separate incident over the weekend, two children were killed in a shack fire, while their brother was severely burnt at the Ramaphosa informal settlement.

Community members found their mother at a local shebeen. It’s believed that she took her own life shortly after the incident.

Mbalula said the lockdown had allowed government to prevent alcohol-related accidents. The ban on alcohol sales was lifted when the country moved to lockdown level 2 last week.

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