Liquor authorities must get tough on taverns - SJC

2015-07-06 17:15
(Jenna Etheridge, News24)

(Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town - The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) has handed over a memorandum to the police requesting they, together with the Western Cape Liquor Authority, take a tough stance on taverns that flout the law. This follows the tragic death of eight young women who lost their lives in a stampede at a Khayelitsha tavern.

In a statement delivered to the Harare police station, the SJC asked that criminal charges be brought against the person who reportedly fired a gun in an already volatile situation.

It has been reported that shots were heard shortly before patrons started fleeing from Osi's Tavern on June 28, causing the stairs leading from the building to collapse. Six young women died on the scene, and two more lost their lives when the vehicle transporting them to hospital was involved in an accident.

"The SAPS, and in particular its Designated Liquor Officers [DLOs], the Western Cape Liquor Authority and the law enforcement component from the City of Cape Town need to work co-operatively in order to ensure that tragedies like this are avoided in the future," the SJC said in the statement. 

The NGO has asked that the Western Cape Liquor Authority permanently revoke Osi’s liquor licence for the tavern’s alleged sale of alcohol to minors and for operating outside of the lawful trading hours in a residential area.

"In addition, the licence should be revoked because the building housing Osi’s Place is very clearly not fit or safe for purpose."

"Given this tragic sequence of events, the Social Justice Coalition, and its members from the Makhaza branch in particular, welcome the fact that the liquor-trading licence of Osi’s Place has been suspended by an interim order pending the police investigation."

Furthermore, they requested that the 34 other legal on-consumption liquor traders in Khayelitsha all be inspected as a matter of urgency.

"Government is unlikely to make inroads into reducing the number of unlicenced liquor outlets in Khayelitsha [currently there are around 1 400] if the licenced outlets are perceived to be unsafe." 


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