Police had no right to grab booze at Rand Show

Zinhle Mapumulo

Zinhle Mapumulo

Police said yesterday that they were justified in confiscating large amounts of liquor from Rand Show revellers at the weekend.

Young people who were hoping to get sloshed at the closing festivals of the show had to either finish their liquor before going in or have it confiscated.

Police blocked all entrances and seized liquor found in minibus taxis and other vehicles.

Patrons were given the choice to either continue with their planned trip without the liquor or go home with their drinks.

There is no law in South Africa that gives police the right to stop, search and seize liquor found in a vehicle.

Police spokesman Inspector Lorraine Emmerick admitted as much.

"There is no law that says so but under-age drinking is against the law in this country, Emmerick said. "Most of the kombis and minibus taxis that were stopped and searched had teenagers in them.

"The organisers had given strict instructions to prevent alcohol from entering the venue."

The police seized liquor worth R500000 on Saturday and Sunday.

The liquor was taken to the charge office in Booysens and destroyed on Monday.

"Past events were marred by drinking accompanied by violence and criminal activity," Emmerick said.