South Africa Has Banned Alcohol Sales, So Someone Tunnelled Into the Liquor Store

Now more than ever, we can all use stories of our fellow global citizens coming together to solve problems with cooperation, ingenuity and the indomitable human spirit. Or spirits, as the case may be. Well in Johannesburg, just such a feel good story took place. And it's a triumph of will the sort of which we can all celebrate.

A while back I mentioned that South Africa was one of the few governments that shut down all liquor stores as part of the quarantine. And why not? It's not like there's historic precedents of bad things happening when you make alcohol sales illegal or anything. So how could any of their leaders foresee unintended consequences? Like the deaths they had from people making homebrews. Or this:

Well just to be the John Krasinski of South African drunk stories, here's Some Good News. 

Source - Solid concrete was no deterrent for thieves who tunnelled into a Johannesburg liquor store during lockdown, stealing R300,000 in whisky, brandy, gin, ciders, vodka and beer.

Shoprite said the theft from the Shoprite LiquorShop in Newtown Junction took place during  lockdown levels 4 and 5 , when  the sale of alcohol was  prohibited.

The manager of the store discovered the theft, and a large hole in the floor, when she entered the store on Friday. She was returning to prepare for the store’s reopening under level  3 on Monday.

"With alcohol in high demand during the lockdown,  the store was secured from the outside throughout. The suspects avoided the mall’s main entrance and instead used electrical and storm water tunnels beneath the shopping centre to gain access to an area beneath the store," said Shoprite. "They then tunnelled through the solid concrete floor directly into the  shop."

It is unclear how the thieves knew where to tunnel, nor how long it took them to get through the thick concrete floor, but they returned a few times to steal a large amount of stock.

I want to be clear, I don't encourage looting or property damage of any kind. Shoprite Liquors is a victim here and their loss is real. But when a government deprives its citizenry of a basic right, these things will happen. It's on the political leadership, not these bold, enterprising tunnel engineers who saw a problem and solved it. And while I'm not forgiving their crime, I do understand it. And celebrate the feat they accomplished. It just shows there is no limit to what ordinary people can achieve when they put their minds and backs to it. And when there is the reward of Captain Morgan, Jack Daniels and Pink Whitney waiting at the end of their endeavors. 

And just to put a very happy hat on this hat, here's the scene in South Africa today, as the ban on booze sales was lifted. 

There is hope for us yet. Cheers.