3 More Dead As South Africans Turn To Homemade Booze

Story By: Alex Cope, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News

Three more people have died after drinking homemade booze in South Africa in the face of the country’s controversial ban on alcohol during the coronavirus lockdown.

Local media report three people have died in the village of KwaNonibe in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province after drinking home-brewed beer where methylated spirits had been added, while nine others were left in a serious condition in hospital.

Eastern Cape police spokesperson Colonel Sibongile Soci said that three people had died after drinking the concoction, while local health department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said nine others were in a critical condition in Stutterheim Hospital after consuming the homebrew.

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Kupelo said another three people had died in the town of Keiskammahoek after drinking a powdered soft drink mixed with methylated spirits last week, with two dying at the scene and one other at Cecilia Makiwane hospital.

The incident comes as deaths from homemade alcohol in South Africa have rocked the country in a bid to reduce the number of hospital admissions caused by alcohol-induced violence or from people getting excessively drunk. But some of those vacant beds are now being taken by people suffering from alcohol poisoning.

Tony Hilliar and his fiancee Alida Fouche made headlines after they reportedly died from drinking the home-made “beer” in the coastal town of Port Nolloth.

CEN/Alida Fouche

Two weeks later Melvin Afrikaner, 54, and wife Winnie, 50, died in intensive care after drinking several bottles of homemade booze.

The country’s ban on alcohol has reportedly seen a spike in the sale of bootleg booze and the temporary prohibition has even been compared to apartheid, with one seller of illicit alcohol saying: “Lockdown has actually taken us back to the dark days [of apartheid] when people made alcohol at home and sold to community members.”

Thembalethu police spokesperson Captain Dumile Gwavu said selling and brewing alcohol during the lockdown is a criminal offence.

According to reports, people are brewing their own booze at home using pineapples and apples.

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Alex Cope

I am a senior writer and editor of the Golders news agency specialising in sports news from around the world.

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