Capetonians and visitors to the city enjoying the world-class Cape Town Street Parade Africas biggest cultural festival on the 2 January 2019. File Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - A Bo-Kaap imam has criticised organisers of the Tweede Nuwe Jaar parade after photos of minstrels urinating against a mosque’s walls have surfaced.

Imam Abdul Moutie Saban, religious leader at the Bo-Kaap’s Jameah Masjid in Lower Chiappini Street for the past 40 years, on Monday sent the photos to the Cape Argus. They show minstrels urinating on the mosque’s walls and streams of urine running from a mosque wall.

Saban had warned about the potential for this behaviour before the parade and organisers said they made efforts to provide public toilets.

Saban said: “The organisers should take responsibility for this. We cannot allow this behaviour. This is a sacred place. People who saw this said the minstrels didn’t even take any notice of them when they tried to stop them.”

Saban had also said last month, during a December 16 minstrel event, “half-naked girls” entered local mosques to use the toilets.

“There were about 15 buses that came into the area and they started marching in the area. A group of young girls and some adults just walked into the masjid half-naked and they wanted to use the toilets. Confrontations ensued because the worshippers are not used to this,” said Saban.

“When they were told the mosque did not have a public toilet, they became abusive.”

Muneeb Gambeno, director of the Kaapse Klopse Karnival Association (KKKA), which organised the parade, said they “don’t condone this type of anti-social behaviour”.

“We apologise on behalf of all of the fraternity. We cautioned the troupe leaders. We posted notices and requests via our Facebook page,” said Gambeno. “We supplied sufficient toilets.” 

Jacky Poking, secretary of the Bo-Kaap civic and ratepayers’ association, said they would “investigate the accusations with relevant (minstrel) boards and troupes”.

JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, said they wanted to “identify the troupes the culprits belong to, so that they may be charged in terms of the by-laws”.

“A total of 46 toilets were deployed in the Bo-Kaap area. The Chiappini Street mosque, although in close proximity to the event, is essentially outside the event footprint,” said Smith.

“It should be noted that such behaviour does not appear to be common to other events hosted in the area.”


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Cape Argus