Politics

'The ban must stay because of friends the minister keeps?' - 7 reactions to Bheki Cele's booze ban stance

'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’

‘Alcohol ban must remain because of friends the minister keeps’

‘Cele uses personal experience to bully the entire country and industry’

‘Right diagnosis, wrong solution’

‘He never thought gender-based violence and only saw an alcohol issue?’

‘Uses alcohol to excuse his friend’s behaviour’

‘Resign and heal’