On Friday Police Minister Bheki Cele said if smokers are caught with cigarettes outside their homes they will be forced to produce till slips.
This was the response from Cele after a question from a journalist about what would happen to people caught with cigarettes during lockdown. He was also asked about the rationale behind people being arrested for transporting alcohol in their vehicles.
One interviewer was quoted asking, “A police spokesperson in KZN was quoted as saying that smoking cigarettes in your house is a crime. People have complained about officers confiscating their personal cigarettes during stop and search operations. The regulations say that the sale of tobacco and related products is prohibited. Does that mean that possession of personal cigarettes is a crime?”
“It is not illegal to smoke cigarettes in your house. The only problem is when we find it in a car and you fail to show us where you did you get the cigarette…and when. If you say you have bought the cigarette, here is the receipt, we’ve got two options there: to get you, and go and get the person who sold the cigarette to you. But if the cigarette was there in your thousand looses and you’re smoking in your home, really, we’re not coming into your house and arrest you,” said Cele.
Cele responded saying, “Alcohol is very clear, you go and read your regulations. Regulations say there shall be no transportation of alcohol…Whether it’s in your basket, whether it’s in your pocket, so long as you create some form of transport, you shall not be allowed.”
The minister reiterated that consumption at home is still allowed.
Cele said that the controversial ban had been “discussed time and again”.
“I’m sure the announcement will be made. But Cele does not make announcements on those matters; the president or the minister responsible for the regulations will. Just wait.”
“Ours, as the police, is to enforce what would have been decided upon [about] cigarettes and alcohol. I might suspect what direction that decision might take, but it is not for me to make those announcements,” he said.