Police officers allegedly attacked, vehicle torched by patrons at illegal liquor outlet in West Rand

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Police vehicle allegedly torched by patrons at an illegal liquor outlet in the West Rand.
Police vehicle allegedly torched by patrons at an illegal liquor outlet in the West Rand.
  • The owner of an unlicensed liquor outlet has been arrested on charges of contravening the Disaster Management Act. 
  • His arrest follows an attack on two police officers, allegedly by patrons drinking at the establishment.
  • During the attack, one police officer was injured and a police vehicle was torched. 

Police have arrested the owner of an unlicensed liquor outlet in Muldersdrift, West Rand, after two officers were allegedly attacked and their vehicle torched by patrons of the establishment.

The incident took place in the early hours on Saturday morning.

The two officers, stationed at Muldersdrift police station, were allegedly attacked by patrons at around 02:30 when they responded to a complaint of disturbance of the peace at Video informal settlement.

In a statement, police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said that, when the officers were attacked by an aggressive group of people, they sought cover in a nearby shack. The attackers, however, continued pelting objects at them and allegedly threatened to kill them.

"The two members, with one of them injured, managed to escape out of the shack and realised that the group had allegedly torched the state vehicle. Public Order Police arrived and managed to quell the situation," Peters said.

"The injured member was rushed to a nearby hospital in Krugersdorp, where he was treated and discharged. No member of the public was injured.

"A separate docket has been opened for investigation in relation to the attack on police members, and malicious damage to property (torching of state vehicle)."

Police vehicle, torched police vehicle
Police vehicle allegedly torched by patrons at an illegal liquor outlet in the West Rand.

Following the incident, the owner of the establishment was arrested, and the alcohol was confiscated. The value of the liquor has yet to be determined, police said.

"He will be charged with contravening the Gauteng Liquor Board legislation for trading in liquor without a license.

"The suspect will also be charged with contravention of the Disaster Management Act, and Covid-19 Level 1 lockdown regulations that prohibit the sale of alcohol after 23h00."

The acting Gauteng police commissioner, Major-General Tommy Mthombeni, condemned the incident. He said it was indicative of the extent to which some members of the public will go to undermine the authority of the state.

"Our members who came under attack by this lawless group of people, who are said to have been very aggressive, should actually be commended for sacrificing their safety and ensuring no member of the public got injured," Mthombeni said.

"They had the option to use their service firearms, but instead used their discretion not to use those firearms, averting a possible bloodbath.

"Our Employee Health and Wellness teams must continue to give priority attention to these members to ensure their emotional and psychological recovery."

The owner of the liquor outlet is expected to appear in court soon.

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