Law expert says transportation of booze over Easter weekend isn't illegal

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini -Zuma said they had learnt that when there was increased movement of people, the likelihood of the spread of COVID-19 became higher.

FILE: Dlamini Zuma said they had learnt that when there was increased movement of people, the likelihood of the spread of COVID-19 became higher. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/Eyewitness News.

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG - A liquor law expert on Thursday said the transportation of alcohol over the Easter long weekend was not illegal.

This contradicts Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma who earlier on Thursday warned motorists would fall foul of the law if they were caught with alcohol in their vehicles.

READ: Transporting alcohol over long weekend not allowed, confirms Dlamini-Zuma

However, lawyer Danie Cronje has told the John Maythem Show that was not in line with the gazetted regulations.

“As far as I’m concerned, the regulations have been clear, they only mention the transportation of liquor in the heading but there’s no prohibition of the transportation of liquor. So as far as I’m concerned, one may transport liquor."

Cronje said there were moves to address the confusion.

“Representative organisations in the wine and the liquor industry are trying to resolve this with the minister. I personally sent a message to the premier in the Western Cape advising him and asking him to assist to get the correct message out to law enforcement officials."

LISTEN: The transportation of liquor during the Easter period debate heats up

Dlamini-Zuma said the government had learnt important lessons from the December holidays when COVID-19 infections spiked after the festive season.

This reason is behind the temporary ban of off-site alcohol sales among other reviewed level one restrictions during the Easter long weekend.

Dlamini Zuma said they had learnt that when there was increased movement of people, the likelihood of the spread of COVID-19 became higher.

She was briefing reporters on the government’s revised level one regulations when she explained the reasons behind the new measures including religious gatherings.

READ: FULL SPEECH: Ramaphosa keeps the country on level 1 lockdown

“We are requesting that this time, congregants just congregate as normal and not going to other churches. They must just worship where they normally do."

The regulations come into effect at midnight and will be lifted on Tuesday.

However, the restrictions on religious gatherings will be in force until government reviews them in 15 days time.

ORDER ON THE ROADS

The minister said the police would be out in their numbers to enforce the revised level one regulations and order on the roads.

The country was under a hard lockdown during last year’s Easter holidays, leading to lesser accidents on the roads and trauma cases in hospitals.

However, with the movement of people allowed this time around, Dlamini-Zuma has pleaded with motorists and pedestrians to be cautious as they travelled to different destinations.

“This time there is movement, but we’re hoping people will be responsible enough to make sure they don’t drink and drive, they don’t speed and get enough rest so they can protect themselves and other people.”

She has urged people who do not have to travel to stay home to lessen the spread of the coronavirus.

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