Notorious drug den closed

2015-09-08 06:00
Mezani Lounge on the corner of Main and Bowden roads has been closed after its liquor licence was temporarily suspended.

Mezani Lounge on the corner of Main and Bowden roads has been closed after its liquor licence was temporarily suspended.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

A notorious drug den in Observatory, Mezani Lounge, has been closed following a temporary suspension of the owner’s liquor trading licence last week.

The suspension of the Lounge’s licence follows several raids by Woodstock police at the premises on the corner of Main and Bowden roads. The liquor authority presented its information gathered about the club to the liquor licensing tribunal, leading to the suspension.

The Lounge has been rocked by scandals. Drugs were found on the premises in several raids. Drug dealers have allegedly sold drugs at the premises in broad daylight. There are also allegations that a rape has happened on the premises, which led to several community leaders writing letters saying they are sick and tired of Mezani and they want it gone. If they are allowed to continue trading, the community would be reduced to nothing as drug dealers have a spot to sell their drugs, they say.

After compelling evidence was put forward to the Western Cape liquor authority the tribunal filed for an urgent call to close the doors of the Lounge.

Now Daniel Lossy, the owner of Mezani Lounge, has to wait for his hearing on a date still to be set. While this might be good news for the Observatory community, community leaders say a lot still needs to be done. They say this is not a victory for Observatory but a victory for the liquor authority, which is starting to show its work. Community members believe it’s not a good thing that only eight liquor licences have be revoked in a province where there is more than 23 000 liquor outlets.

Councillor Paddy Chapple says months of hard work has finally paid off.

“It’s a step in the right direction. The suspension means he can’t continue trading in alcohol and if he does so he will be breaking the law. We are looking forward to the final hearing,” he says.

Barrie Terblance, chairperson of the Community Police Forum subforum, says the victory for the Observatory community is not so much against the club as it is over the dysfunction, inactiveness and imbalance of the Liquor Act and the liquor tribunal.

“[The closing of] Mezani is a victory for improving the system, which is not working properly. There are a lot of murders, assaults and domestic violence and only eight licences had been suspended. This shows something is desperately wrong. Leaders in the community had to write letters to question why Mezani is still operating when evidence was brought forward of the damage it’s doing to the society.
“We were told it wasn’t a priority but we kept pushing until something was done. We are glad that it has worked and there is still more than can be done,” he says.
“Observatory is a small place and having about 60 liquor outlets is really drowning us. A lot has to be done; the community can’t take it anymore.
“As much as the liquor authority is good in handing out licences it must be twice as good in suspending them if the licence holders are being problematic. However, they seem to be reluctant or very slow when it comes to suspending licences.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.