Lesson to be learnt

Decades ago, a friend, as a 7yr old played in front of his parents’ home. He fell asleep on the porch and was woken by a screaming drooling strange old drunk woman. She illicitly accessed the property and hovered over him as he woke. The incident continues to haunt him and his aversion to drunks.

Daily during the festive season, the City of Cape Town law enforcement confiscates thousands of bottles of alcohol from people on Cape Town beaches and public spaces where alcohol is prohibited.

This vulgarity ensues annually and has been on-going for decades. So, what can we learn about this reoccurring problem. The reality is that some people are unable to learn from the mistakes of others or from their own mistakes. While it may seem like a minor issue, drinking and swimming or driving or walking is unsafe and people often die. Also, drunkards ruin the family experience of other folk.

Drunk drivers cost the economy billions annually and threaten the safety of millions. Thousands of innocent people are killed on the roads and thousands more are left paralyzed and so on, yet the madness continues. Law enforcement and others waste time and energy trying to stop the insanity.

So, what must be done to improve the situation? Please note that I am specifically talking about people who are drunk in public and not someone who maybe an addict in the comfort of his/her own home and does not pose a public threat. As a Muslim I find the idea of intoxicants stupid but as a democrat living in a multi-cultural milieu I cannot impose my context or understanding on others.

Since public drunks do not want to listen to reason, perhaps, 30 days’ in jail will help. Since few want to waste time in jail, wasting the time of the drunk is one way of forcing the drunk to learn. Since the Torah, Bible and Quran has warned for centuries about the risks of intoxicants, we need to consider alternative methods of rehabilitation as it is obvious that some people just do not want to listen.

As money matters, possibly the 30 days or R30 000 will be helpful when the wealthy are driving drunk or swimming drunk etc. The money can then be used to cover the costs that are wasted on arresting the drunk. Ironically, currently, all the costs of the drunk are covered by taxpayers, why?

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress