Cape Town – The Black People’s National Crisis Committee (BPNCC) has invited people of colour to descend on Clifton’s 4th beach today, to protest against people being told by private security guards to leave the beach because it was “closing” at 8 pm.
Fatima Shabodien, who was shuffled off the beach on Monday along with ANC Western Cape provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs and his family, are planning a protest picnic at 5pm tomorrow.
BPNCC chairperson Chumani Maxwele said: “We are saying that in this day and age no one can be told to leave a public beach because (of) those who feel they own this space. Therefore, we are inviting people of all colour, the residents of Clifton as well to join us as we slaughter a sheep tomorrow (today), braai and enjoy this space.”
Resident Monique Harrisberg said Professional Protection Alternatives Security (PPA) was appointed by the residents in efforts to stave off criminal elements.
She said she felt the entire matter had been blown out of proportion. PPA had claimed guards were forced to clear the beach following the alleged rape of two 15-year-old girls on the boulders of 4th Beach.
The City’s executive director for Safety and Security Richard Bosman said: “Private security companies have no mandate to enforce municipal by-laws. The City has acted swiftly to address the conduct of PPA staff once we became aware of it.”
PPA’s advocate, Bruce Hendricks, said it was disconcerting that the City had made this statement as there were images on social media showing law enforcement officers working together.
“My clients feel the City must unequivocally make it clear what occurred on this specific day.
“The members were asked to support the law enforcement officers, for safety reasons. Another concern is that there were more reports of these beaches being closed last night (Wednesday) and the City has said nothing.”
Hendricks said it was “unfortunate” the matter had been turned into a political and racial incident, when many of the security guards were people of colour.
Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana said police launched an investigation into media reports alleging two teenagers had been raped on a beach resulting in the curfew.
“Preliminary findings of the investigation indicate no rape was registered at Camps Bay police station. Information at the disposal of the police suggests there was an attempt to sexually violate a 15-year-old girl, however that was prevented by a group of beachgoers who reported the incident to police.”
Rwexana said the victim and her family refused to open a case against the suspect who was known to them.