Alcohol is a major contributor to assault cases in SA, says Cele

In more than 2,800 incidents of assault GBH, it was confirmed that alcohol was consumed either by the victim or the perpetrator or both.

A man in Soweto pours the alcohol he had in his possession during a police operation on Saturday, 06 June 2020, on the  first weekend since the level 3 lockdown which permits the sale of alcohol. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN – Police Minister Bheki Cele says alcohol abuse is the albatross around the South African Police Service's neck.

Cele discussed the prevalence of assault related to alcohol use when he presented the quarterly crime statistics on Friday.

The data reflects crimes that have occurred between January and March this year.

READ: Cele - Murder rate rose 8.4% in first quarter, reported rape cases fell 4%

The police minister said while all cases of assault have decreased by over 9%, there were still more than 75,000 cases of common assault and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm (assault GHB) opened with the police between January and March this year.

"The prevalence of violence in communities across the country is growing to unacceptable proportions."

In more than 2,800 incidents of assault GBH, it was confirmed that alcohol was consumed either by the victim or the perpetrator or both.

Stats also showed more than 2,000 of these incidents took place at either a bar, a night club, a tavern or a shebeen.

Cele said some communities had more taverns compared to any other establishment –including churches and schools combined.

He adds those communities simply cannot expect to have social stability due to the oversupply of liquor.

Gauteng and the Western Cape recorded the highest number of assault cases.

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