Owner of illegal disco fined $200

The Herald February 1 1980

A CLUB operator who sold liquor without a licence and operated a disco without the approval of the Board of Censors was fined a total of $200 in the Salisbury Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Louis Nel, who ran the club Sagittarius in Newlands, Salisbury, admitted contravening the Liquor Act and the Censorship and Entertainments Control Act.

He was fine fined $150 (or 75 days) on the liquor charge and $50 (or 25 days) on the entertainment charge.

In addition, it was ordered that $26,80 – proceeds from the sale of liquor – should be forfeited to the Crown.

The court was told that about 10.30 pm on December 12 the Police raided the club. Nel was behind a counter at the door of the club.

Inside a number of people were sitting at a bar where drinks were being sold and a disc jockey was providing music.

The police found $200 worth of liquor on the premises and took a cashbox containing $86,80, of which, Nel said, $60 was his float.

The magistrate, Mr WL Rodger said contravention of the Liquor Act was becoming more and more prevalent and that Nel had operated a large-scale enterprise.

Also, it was necessary that entertainment came under the control of the Board of Censors.

Mr Byron Symeonoglou prosecuted.

Lessons for today

  • When operating a business, it is important to do things by the book to avoid problems with the law.
  • Taking shortcuts can be very costly. The club operator in the story did not only pay a lot of money in fines, but also forfeited $26,80 he had made from sales to the State.
  • Some bar and club owners continue to contravene the Liquor Act to maximise their profits while others have resorted to smuggling beer into the country.
  • Recently police in Bulawayo seized an assortment of alcohol worth over US$100 000 suspected to have been illegally brought into the country after intercepting a 30-tonne truck that was carrying the contraband.

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