AfriForum asked to retract press statement

2015-07-30 06:00

THE Kwazulu-Natal Liquor Authority has asked AfriForum to retract its press statement which accused it’s CEO, Elliot Mashile, of bending the rules.

The release comes after residents from Margate Extension 3 approached AfriForum to investigate a tavern called Downtown Tavern and the “suspicious circumstances” surrounding the approval of the issuing of its liquor licence.

The KZN Liquor Authority closed the tavern in 2011, but reissued a licence in 2014.

In 2011 the tavern was known as Martino’s Tavern.

The press release sent to media from AfriForum read as follows: “It seems like rules - in the books of the KwaZulu-Natal Liquor Authority - only apply to those who didn’t make them. This is the response of AfriForum, after the acting CEO of the KZN Liquor Authority, Elliot Mashile, said they don’t have to follow each step in the licencing process and can take their own initiative on licensing and approvals.”

It went on to say that Mashile was contradicting a statement he made in the authority’s quarterly newsletter, dated 7 November, 2014.

The newsletter read: “This communique speaks to the liquor licence renewal process and advises all retail and micro licensees to pay particular attention to the application process. The KwaZulu-Natal Liquor Authority is mounting a massive service drive during the month of October to the end of December throughout the province. The intention is to advise and inform existing licence holders of the renewal process. It must be noted that in terms of the new Liquor Licensing Act, a license holder must apply for renewal of a liquor licence six months prior to the expiry date of the licence.

“On 2 August, 2013 two applications were lodged at the Port Shepstone Magistrate’s Court in terms of the Liquor Act 27 of 1989. The applications were perused by Warrant Officer Jonathan Langeveldt, the designated liquor officer (DLO) of Margate. Both applications were flawed with regard to limited and incomplete information,” said Wessel Pretorius, chairman of the AfriForum Margate branch.

He said the licences were however, still issued to the venues­, even though they were not ready to conduct business.

AfriForum presented the Fever with electronic copies of the newsletter and the complaint made by Langeveldt.

It also came to light that the DLO’s report in the liquor authority’s file was replaced with falsified documents.

A case was subsequently opened by Langeveldt.

“AfriForum requested Major-General Khombinkosi Jula, Deputy Provincial Commissioner in April 2015 to investigate the matter with the intention of revoking both licences.

“After three months the matter is still under investigation. We will now take the matter to our legal team, probing the possibility of getting the licences revoked by a court,” said Chris Fourie, provincial co-ordinator for AfriForum in KwaZulu-Natal.

Siva Naidoo, communications manager for the KZN Liquor Authority, denied that Mashile had ever made a statement such as that claimed by AfriForum.

“It is malicious, false and damaging to the CEO’s reputation. We have asked AfriForum to retract their press statement,” said Naidoo

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