South Africans have once again been warned of the dangers of consuming homemade alcohol – sometimes the consequences can be deadly. Under Level 4 of the Lockdown, all sales of alcohol has been banned, which prompts people to resort to making the booze themselves.
The Eastern Cape Liquor Board’s Mgwebi Msiya has told SABC News they are keeping an eye on communities in that province, which continue making homemade beer.
“We are very concerned they can be very dangerous to the health of our people. So we are very close with SAPS to actually monitor to ensure that we enforce compliance and we identify the communities that continue to try these homemade brews. Our inspectors are all over the province making sure we identify these areas, they close them immediately.”
The Eastern Cape Liquor Board’s Mgwebi Msiya
Concerns over homemade alcohol
Three people in Ntabozuko, formerly known as Berlin, in the Eastern Cape, passed away last week after drinking a homemade alcohol concoction.
“Police can confirm that three people died after consuming homemade brew in Lingelitsha, Berlin. The circumstances surrounding the incidents are unknown [at] this stage. Police have opened an inquest for investigation. No arrests have been made as yet and the investigation continues,” Thembinkosi Kinana said at the time.
Speaking of the specific case, Msiya said they would be looking into the circumstances before determining the next way forward.
“We strongly condemn this behaviour of people who consume home-made beer, which has proven to be very fatal. We, in partnership with SAPS, are currently investigating this incident and necessary action will be taken against people who are found to have been responsible for the loathful behaviour,” he said.
By May 2020, two months into the lockdown (and alcohol ban), at least 16 people had lost their lives due to the consumption of homemade beer.