Bheki Cele

Police Minister Bheki Cele. Photograph: Flickr

‘Only soft music is allowed on NYE’ – Bheki Cele is at it again…

Bheki Cele is channeling is energy into enforcing the lockdown laws – with a particular focus on beach gatherings and music volumes.

Bheki Cele

Police Minister Bheki Cele. Photograph: Flickr

As we head into our second New Year’s Eve under the law of lockdown, we’re perhaps getting closer to Bheki Cele becoming some sort of urban legend in the not-too-distant future: Once again, the police minister has been threatening to shut down celebrations left, right, and centre.

Bheki Cele has big plans for New Year’s Eve

South Africa is still subject to a 00:00 curfew – and there is no exemption for celebrations such as New Year’s Eve. If you’re counting down to midnight, you’ll have to do it at your own home, or in a place you’re allowed to stay overnight – something Bheki Cele made clear in an interview with TimesLive.

The hatted minister was at his hyperbolic best on Thursday, and continued to lay the law down for those planning to flout Level 1 regulations. The curfew is in place until 4:00, and calls to lift this overnight shutdown have intensified since Christmas.

However, Bheki Cele is standing firm, and he wants to keep the curfew in place – citing the struggles that Omicron has caused in other countries. South Africa may have dodged a bullet with the fourth wave, but Cele is wary of a possible resurgence.

No loitering, soft music only: The police minister’s guide to NYE…

The best way to avoid this, he says is for everyone to obey the restrictions still in place. The top cop has threatened to arrest ‘anyone found loitering on the beaches’ after midnight – but good behaviour isn’t exclusively reserved for outdoor pursuits…

Bheki Cele also warned South Africans partying at home that they must play soft music on New Year’s Eve – or the police will ‘have to act’:

“Those who are going to the beaches must go home before midnight because if we find you loitering around at the beach, you will get arrested… The only place you are allowed to drink at is your own home listening to soft music. Once you disturb your neighbour and they call us, we will have to act.”

Bheki Cele, speaking to Amanda Khoza