ELEVEN Mavericks Revue Bar exotic dancers are free to get on to the stage again after the State dropped criminal charges against them.
The women, from Ukraine, Columbia, Moldova, Thailand and Romania, appeared one by one in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
The trial into the allegations they contravened the Immigrations Act was expected to begin yesterday, but the State made an about-turn and withdrew the charges.
Prosecutors claimed the women violated the conditions of their temporary residents’ permits.
The women, aged between 23 and 33, were either not entitled to work because they didn’t have work permits or because they said they would work at other places. Immigration services and the police raided the club in October and seized records relating to the dancers’ work and residents’ permits.
But it was found that the State did not have a strong enough case against the women to secure a conviction, their lawyer, George de Beer, said outside court yesterday.
Two of the remaining women are due to appear in the Cape Town Regional Court today.
After court, one of the dancers, Katya Fedkina, said her arrest was an “unpleasant” experience, but she was glad the ordeal was over.
Fedkina, who has been in SA for six years, worked at other clubs before and was enrolled to work at Mavericks, but did not because she was arrested.
Mavericks owner, Shane Harrison, said the club was targeted because one Home Affairs official had a personal agenda against the club.
“We’re trying to contact senior officials at Home Affairs to find out what the problem is. We’ve always tried to work within the framework of the law. We are trying to establish a working relationship with Home Affairs.”