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COGTA Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma – Photo: GCIS / FLICKR

Dlamini-Zuma facing humiliation over ‘incorrect’ alcohol announcement

It’s the nightmare before Easter: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s claims that people carrying alcohol ‘will be arrested this weekend’ have already been torn apart.

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COGTA Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma – Photo: GCIS / FLICKR

It’s like watching a car crash in slow motion: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is facing the wrath of the public, the legal community, and perhaps even her own colleagues on Thursday afternoon, after she made a bizarre announcement about banning the transportation of alcohol over the Easter weekend.

Dlamini-Zuma may have to u-turn on ‘alcohol transportation’ remarks

According to some legal specialists, Dlamini-Zuma was ‘incorrect’ to pronounce that anyone found carrying alcohol between 2 – 5 April ‘would be arrested’. Liquor law specialist Danie Cronje says her claims don’t stand up to scrutiny.

“The Minister of Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs has today stated that ‘people are not allowed to be carrying alcohol from one place to another’ over the Easter weekend. THIS IS INCORRECT.”

“In terms of the regulations published on the 30th of March 2021, The ‘new’ Regulation 81 does not contain any prohibition on the transportation of liquor by the holders of liquor licenses or members of the public.”

Another lawyer, Matthew Kruger, has also expressed his dismay about the amended law, which doesn’t seem to be supported by anything published in the Government Gazette – and if a law doesn’t appear within these pages, it is not enforceable. Kruger is also concerned about the overt threat to our basic freedoms as citizens:

“The police do not have this power. It is not provided for in the regulations. Removal of a regulatory permission does not thereby render the activity unlawful. This is not how our law works. Absent proscription, all is permitted. Freedom is still a constitutional value – and that IS how our law works.”

Dlamini-Zuma’s alcohol announcement – will I be arrested for transporting liquor over Easter?

It adds to a catalogue of controversial measures that Dlamini-Zuma has sought to introduce without NCCC approval. Last year, she took charge of the five-month cigarette ban – a measure that was barely enforced anywhere else in the world. Ahead of our New Year lockdown, the minister amended the definition of a beach – to better suit social distancing laws.

But her latest mistake already looks like it will be pulled back before becoming a legal requirement: COGTA has since told eTV News that citizens ‘will be allowed to transport alcohol’ – IF it has not been purchased during the four-day break. However, this requires further clarification, as no bottle stores or supermarkets will be permitted to sell booze over Easter.

Having already alienated the general public, political opposition, and legal experts, it now seems that her own department will have to do some explaining on Dlamini-Zuma’s behalf. Once again, her eleventh-hour intervention has sparked chaos.

  • This is a developing story and we’ll have much more on it throughout the day