By Sicelo Maziya | 2021-04-03
It would seem the Good Friday eve could not end without leaving a spectacle as police officers had to fire gun shots to dispense rowdy imbibers who were openly enjoying their alcoholic drinks next to the premises of one of the popular hangout spots at Ezulwini known as Mdzimba View on Thursday night.
The officers further moved in to force the establishment to wind up its business and close down for the night.
The imbibers who were visibly thirsty for fun following the protracted ban on alcohol intake in recent months suddenly became uncontrollable as the night grew old calling for police officers stationed within the vicinity of this hangout spot to spring into action and control the situation.
It should be noted that all this occurred outside the hangout joint causing even management from the establishment to come out and observe for themselves what was going on especially after the loud sound of gunshots by the police officers.
Chief Police Information and Communications Officer (PICO) Phindile Vilakati confirmed to this publication that police officers fired warning shots after the imbibers who were rowdy started to become a nuisance by smashing beer bottles on the road very close to the Ezulwini Police Post.
Vilakati said the fired shots were just a tactic to ensure that they drive away the rowdy crowd out of the area. She said officers had to clear out the area in a bid to maintain peace.
Vilakati confirmed that they had to ask the establishment to wind up their business of the night so that such an incident does not continue as a result of the rowdy crowd.
According to eyewitnesses, the rowdy imbibers who are said to have been engulfed with happiness after the relaxation of COVID-19 induced national lockdown turned rowdy and the police had to fire shots to disperse them. The crowd had gathered outside the hangout spot’s with a queue of cars even stretching closer to the police post.
It is alleged that sporadic fights ensued and these resulted in the imbibers smashing alcohol bottles on the road. This was after these imbibers engaged in heated arguments that resulted in fights as they continued consuming alcohol outside the premises of the establishment.
As the night progressed more imbibers arrived at the Mdzimba parking lot after leaving other drinking spots that had since closed for the night.
The establishment’s manager Bobby Simillides also confirmed the incident, but was specific that it did not occur within the Mdzimba View premises.
“I heard of the commotion outside our establishment and I quickly went to check what was going on. I realized people were overwhelmed by the newly given freedom” said Simillides.
He further shared that because they were outside their establishment he had to check what was happening as anything could have happened to paint a bad image about the popular establishment.
He said police officers attended to the issue and also asked that we wind up the business for the night after the incident. Simillides further disclosed that their establishment continues to follow all protocols as per the government call in all the establishments.
He said the situation was a surprise to him as much as inside their establishment everything was calm. He said as much as the situation happened outside their establishment they did try to calm the situation before the police took over.
He said their establishment is still open for business and is following all the laid down health protocols.
Meanwhile, Simillides was able to share that business has not yet picked up to full capacity as the lockdown affected so many things.
“We are grateful as Mdzimba View establishment that we are able to provide employment to a number of people who are also responsible to their families” he said.
He said business has been affected greatly but they do believe they will continue to work towards contributing to employment opportunities to the few that remain employed at Mdzimba.
He said so many people are always on their premises pleading for employment which is a great concern to them as an establishment.
He said they fully understand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and only hope things would turn positive as the effects will take time to be solved.
Simillides said the eatery business is going to be heavily affected for a long time as alcohol is everywhere now as everyone is trying to survive.
He said he was aware that sometimes people would rather bring their alcohol and stay in their cars and enter our premises for the music or good food that is provided.
He then pleaded with patrons to support the establishment as they are also playing the huge role in easing the burden of unemployment.
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