Booze authority shloshed at Shpur

2013-08-18 14:00

It appears the Free State Liquor Authority has no strong grasp of irony.

Members of the authority, including its executive head, reportedly held such a rowdy party at the Windmill Casino Spur in Bloemfontein that security guards had to evict them.

Staff and witnesses told the Volksblad newspaper that during the raucous Wednesday-night party, one of the members had threatened that Matilda Gasela, the CEO of the Free State Gambling and Liquor Authority, could confiscate the restaurant’s liquor licence and take away its concession.

Gasela yesterday denied the threats and said Spur staff had acted unfairly against the liquor authority’s staff.

She said she did not have to throw her weight around and did not have the authority to remove anyone’s liquor licence.

Hester Steyn, who sat next to the group of 14, said they drank heavily, made a lot of noise and swore a great deal.

One of the patrons asked the group to tone things down because their swearing was frightening the children in the restaurant.

Steyn said: “All hell then broke loose.” She claimed one of the men in the group called the patron who had complained a racist and started yelling.

The two shouted at each other in full view of other patrons until a manager arrived and asked the group from the liquor authority to tone it down or leave.

Spur spokesperson Luigi Casaleggio said the group refused both requests. He said the drama continued for about two hours, during which time patrons from 13 tables decided to leave the restaurant because of the commotion.

The casino’s security officials, as well as the police, were called and the officers accompanied the members of the liquor authority out of the restaurant.

Gasela told Volksblad that the patron who had asked her group to tone it down had made repeated racist comments directed at her table.

She denied that the members of her group had been disorderly or caused any commotion.

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