JOHANNESBURG, 29 December 2020 – The police in South Africa has warned restaurant owners in the country against trying to beat a ban on the sale of alcohol by disguising alcohol as tea.

You would lose your trading license if you flout the ban, South Africa’s Police Minister Bheki Cele warned restaurants Tuesday.

Bheki Cele on Facebook

“Don’t put alcohol in your teapots in restaurants. Don’t put alcohol in the bottles written “zero percent” alcohol. We know your tricks, don’t do that,” Cele added.

Liquor disguised as tea or filled into Coca-Cola bottles and served to guests as non-alcoholic beverage is referred to as “Coca-Alhadji”.

The name is coined to describe Muslims who consume alcohol in bars but want co-revelers to believe that they are drinking tea or Coca-Cola.

On Monday, a day after South Africa became the first African country to surpass one million coronavirus cases, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced tougher restrictions.

Cyril Ramaphosa – Photo The Irish Times

In a televised address, Ramphosa chastised fellow South Africans for “reckless behavior” linked to the high consumption of alcohol that has led to a huge spike in COVID-19 cases in the country.

The stricter measures include a dusk to dawn curfew, a ban on outdoor and indoor gatherings and the ban on the sale of alcohol.

Bars, shops and restaurants must close no later than 8pm.

The measures became effective at midnight on Monday and will initially remain in force until 15 January 2021.

IBetter Be Coffee or Tea – Photo DreamsTime

The South African army and police forces are charged with enforcing the ban.

A new strain of the virus which was detected in South Africa about a fortnight ago is said to spread more easily.

It is not yet known if the new South African strain is more deadly.

Nigeria and the United Kingdom have also detected new strains of the virus.

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