'The ban must stay because of friends the minister keeps?' - 7 reactions to Bheki Cele's booze ban stance
Police minister Bheki Cele has been lambasted on social media for allowing his experiences with friends to influence the ban on the sales and distribution of alcohol.
In a revealing interview with Sunday Times at the weekend, Cele opened up about his anti-booze stance and why he strongly supported the ban.
Cele said his problem was not with people drinking alcohol, but rather how they consume it.
“I don’t have a problem with people who drink socially, but South Africans overdo it. They do not drink alcohol, they are swimming in it,” said Cele.
The minister recounted several stories of friends who had allegedly ruined their lives through alcohol, saying one friend shot his wife “because he was drunk”.
“I have seen alcohol finishing my friends. [One] was a high-flying man and he died because of alcohol. We buried him,” he said
“I have also seen my friend shoot his wife because he was drunk, and I have seen alcohol stripping people of their dignity. They’re stripped of progress and even their wealth. I don’t have much good to say about alcohol.”
Many on social media, including ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba and One SA movement leader Mmusi Maimane, said SA’s already-ailing economy should not suffer because of Cele’s circle of friends.
Here are some of the reactions:
‘Imposing personal beliefs and values on the population’
No politician should seek to impose their personal beliefs and values on the population.— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) January 31, 2021
This is unfortunately what is happening with the question of alcohol sales.
Administrative action must not be used for ulterior motives and to impose personal value systems on the people.
‘Alcohol ban must remain because of friends the minister keeps’
South African economy is being battered, people losing jobs, families and loved ones. The Minister of Police hates alcohol because his circle of his friends abuse alcohol. Alcohol ban must remain because of friends the Minister keep https://t.co/pNAde4DvxL— Herman Mashaba (@HermanMashaba) January 31, 2021
‘Cele uses personal experience to bully the entire country and industry’
The liquor industry has to collapse and have people lose jobs just because Bheki Cele had a friend or friends that abused alcohol. This is the most ridiculous thing ever for someone to use personal experience to bully the entire country and industry. Barbaric!— Mario Khumalo (@MarioKhumalo) January 31, 2021
‘Right diagnosis, wrong solution’
By minister Bheki Cele's logic we should get rid of many things/many roles ... even cops. " We have seen cops finishing friends. Some were high-flying cops. Some died because of incompetence or power abuse. Some cops murder civilians..."— Eusebius McKaiser (@Eusebius) January 31, 2021
Moral: right diagnosis, wrong SOLUTION.
‘He never thought gender-based violence and only saw an alcohol issue?’
Bheki Cele witnessed this and never thought "Gender Based Violence" and only saw an alcohol issue?— Udokotela Wamabhinca (@Sanele_MM) January 31, 2021
Our Minister bathong https://t.co/JUlDjupl5Q
‘Uses alcohol to excuse his friend’s behaviour’
Bheki Cele's drunk friend shot his wife and Bheki blamed the alcohol, not the friend. This is why this man shouldn't be in charge, instead of blaming the problem (his friend), he uses alcohol to excuse his friend's behaviour.— MPHO 🌻 (@MphoMoalamedi) January 31, 2021
‘Resign and heal’
Resigning would give him ample time for therapy https://t.co/FmJdpQ21Qq— paballo (@PabiJustHuman) January 31, 2021