Police must pay for booze

Police must compensate a Northern Cape man whose liquor they confiscated and then destroyed ahead of his 21st birthday party, the Public Protector said yesterday.

Police must compensate a Northern Cape man whose liquor they confiscated and then destroyed ahead of his 21st birthday party, the Public Protector said yesterday.

"The man was planning a 21st birthday party when police seized his alcohol for further investigation," a statement from the Public Protector's office read.

They confiscated the liquor because they suspected the man was planning to sell it without a licence.

"When the investigation found that it was indeed for a party, the state declined to prosecute, and ruled that the alcohol be returned to the suspect."

But a police director had ordered the liquor be destroyed.

The man then approached the public protector, who launched an investigation and it was discovered that the seizure of the alcohol was justified, and not its destruction.

"The alcohol should have been returned to the suspect as per instruction of the prosecutor, and proper procedures for destruction were not followed."

Spokesman for the Public Protector's office Charles Phahlane, said about 50 cases of alcohol had been seized and destroyed by the police. - Sapa

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