Police, roads and transport MEC Butana Komphela has threatened to shut down taverns that sell alcoholic drinks to underage children and fuel social ills especially in impoverished neighbourhoods.
Drinking places and bottle stores that breach the provisions of their liquor licences by, for example, opening beyond their stipulated operating times or disturbing peace in their areas by playing loud music will also face the consequences, he warned.
“We will revoke licences of taverns that close late and play loud music that disturbs peace in the neighbourhood,” Komphela said.
“We will also deal harshly with those that host minors in the places of selling liquor.”
The MEC issued this warning while launching a crime awareness campaign in Zamdela township, near Sasolburg.
He said the police will not hesitate to deal harshly with criminals, including those in Zamdela’s Amelia area where reports of rampant attacks on residents and schoolchildren by gangsters are rife.
“Officers are not reverends . . . the men and women in blue have no time to nurse criminals,” Komphela said.
“There are no social workers in our midst and we do not deal with corrections – we meet criminals toe to toe in the streets while keeping law and order,” he warned.
The event was attended by youths, police officers, non-governmental organisations and officials from the correctional services department in the province.
Free State police provincial commissioner, Lieutenant General Thabethe Mpembe, echoed Komphela’s warning, saying the law enforcement agency was determined to take criminals head-on.
“Enough is enough and we will attack those who continue to break the law, (including) illicit mining activities,” Mpembe said.
“(We will also have) zero tolerance against violence directed at women and children, stock theft, theft of metal sold to scrap dealers . . . we are coming for you.”