Home-brewed booze could be cause of Northern Cape couple's death

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Beer bottles for home-brewed beer. (Getty)
Beer bottles for home-brewed beer. (Getty)

An engaged couple from Port Nolloth in the Northern Cape may have died as a result of consuming home-brewed alcohol.

According to police spokesperson Brigadier Mohale Ramatseba, police are investigating the death of a man and a woman in the town - a small domestic seaport in the Namaqualand region on the northwestern coast of the country, 144km northwest of Springbok.

"It is alleged a 42-year-old woman was found dead in a flat and a 54-year-old man was found seriously ill [on Saturday]. The man was rushed to the local hospital, where he later died," Ramatseba said.

Netwerk24 identified the couple as Alida Fouché and Tony Hilliar.

Fouché reportedly worked as a rental agent, while Hilliar was an artisan.

An inquest docket has been opened to determine the cause of their death. Two empty bottles of homemade brew have been seized for forensic tests, Ramatseba said.

The investigation is continuing. 

South Africa has been under a Level 4 lockdown since 1 May, and alcohol sales are still banned.

According to government's proposed plan, when the lockdown is eased to Level 3, the sale of alcohol will be permitted at retail outlets at limited hours, but no consumption on-premises - drinking in restaurants, pubs and clubs - will be allowed.

Since President Cyril Ramaphosa banned alcohol sales as part of the coronavirus lockdown, booze-deprived South Africans have turned to home-brew fermenting to get around the prohibition, AFP reported.

READ | Explained: How the government will decide to allow alcohol sales again

- Compiled by Riaan Grobler

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