The government has moved to clarify that under new directives issued to members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), South Africans are permitted to drink alcohol in their own yards.
This was part of a raft of new codes of conduct for the army as they enforce lockdown operations.
A recent court judgment ordered the SANDF to ensure that unnecessary excessive force was not used against civilians.
Last month, Collins Khosa was killed allegedly by law enforcement officials after he was found drinking at his home in Alexandra.
The new mission guidelines vehemently stated that SANDF members had an inherent right to self-defence. They state that during instances of looting, SANDF members could disperse the crowd by shouting, verbal warnings, and even arrest civilians.
However, they could not fire warning shots, shoot a person, or get into a physical fight with members of the public.
Soldiers could ignore people consuming alcohol inside their yards and not enter private residences in such instances.
If provoked, SANDF members were instructed to maintain a high level of tolerance against such conduct and to avoid getting into physical fights with civilians.
Members of the public could report soldiers who violate the code of conduct at any military police station, SAPS station, or at the office of the Military Ombud.
CONCERNS RAISED OVER SALE OF ALCOHOL
Meanwhile, the liquor industry is concerned about the limitations that would be placed on the sale of alcohol under level 3 lockdown.
The industry welcomed the announcement that it would be allowed to resume trade from 1 June, however, concerns were raised that restrictions on when people could stock up could lead to crowding at outlets.
Non-profit company VinPro represents more than 3,000 South African wine producers and cellars.
VinPro CEO Rico Basson said they had raised these concerns with government.
“As an industry, we are willing to participate in consultation with government to provide proposals that help to reopen the alcohol industry further, and begin to reconstruct the country’s economy to protect the livelihoods of one million people employed throughout the value chain,” Basson said.
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