Lockdown: Brakpan man dies of organ failure after drinking illegal homemade booze


A man from Brakpan in Gauteng has died of organ failure brought on by homemade liquor he allegedly bought from an illegal local producer.

Netwerk24 reported that the 34-year-old father of two died in the Far East Rand Hospital on Tuesday. His stepfather, who also drank some of the concoction, is reportedly in a serious condition in ICU.

The man reportedly bought the liquor from a local vendor whose identity is being withheld.

His wife told Netwerk24 that they first had some of the liquor on Saturday. The next morning, she felt ill and her husband still appeared intoxicated. He and his stepfather then opened another bottle and had another glass each, and the couple then visited friends who live on the same street, where they had some more.

On Monday morning, the man reportedly became ill and was eventually hospitalised, where his condition worsened, and he died on Tuesday. His stepfather was still in a critical condition.

National police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo told Netwerk24 that the incident was being investigated.

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

An engaged couple from Port Nolloth in the Northern Cape may have died as a result of consuming home-brewed alcohol, News24 reported.

According to police spokesperson Brigadier Mohale Ramatseba, police were 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 4 May]. The man was rushed to the local hospital, where he later died," Ramatseba said.

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.

With the sale of alcohol banned for more than seven weeks since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown, the illegal booze trade has mushroomed and prices have rocketed, GroundUp reported.

People who used to frequent shebeens in the Southern Cape say syndicates have stepped in and are charging exorbitant prices for conventional brands of alcohol.

In response, people have started to brew their own liquor at home. Pineapples and apples are mostly used.

 - Compiled by Riaan Grobler

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