PMB blitz on shebeens

2011-01-25 00:00

IN less than a month since she started her job, the new commissioner of Mountain Rise police station is flexing her muscles against shebeens.

Brigadier Frances Bantham’s determination to end the widespread illegal alcohol trade in the northern suburbs has shut down many businesses. She began her term at the police station, which was notorious for corruption and laziness, on January 3.

Those who have their businesses closed admitted to The Witness they were trading without licences, but they said they saw nothing wrong with it.

“She has brought our businesses to the ground, while leaving those who trade in illegal drugs to continue with their businesses,” said the owner of a shebeen in Northdale.

The man, who runs his shebeen to alongside a small tuck-shop, said Bantham led a large group of police officers into his house on January 7. He said they came in two police trucks, three vans and two small cars.

“They were rude to us and took all my alcohol before they forced me to pay a fine of R3 000,” he said.

The man, who asked to remain unnamed, pointed out houses in the neighbourhood that he claimed belong to drug lords.

Through selling alcohol he had managed to buy himself a top class BMW and a 2010 model Chevrolet SS V8. This is despite his claim that no one is employed in his house.

“Since she started at that police station, this woman has led police to shebeens in Copesville, the whole of Northdale, Eastwood and Woodlands to confiscate people’s alcohol. We are not killing people or running brothels or selling illegal drugs,” said the man.

Sharmane Naidoo said police went to her Crest Place house and took all her beer and “hot stuff” worth R4 000 before they fined her R500 on January 14.

“Neigbours are happy that I am selling beer here because their husbands are drinking closer to home instead of drinking in pubs and being forced to drive under the influence of alcohol.

“Police told me they see nothing wrong with me selling alcohol. They said they confiscated it because the station commissioner had instructed them to do so,” said Naidoo.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan said Bantham is determined to continue the fight against shebeens. She said 22 businesses were raided during the festive season.

“Bantham has noticed that a recent increase in contact crimes in the area was alcohol related. She has stressed that these operations will continue and will form part of the station’s priority in the fight against crime,” said Jeevan.


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