The City of Cape Town council will lay charges against three of the protesters who slaughtered a sheep at Clifton Beach last week. PHOTO: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - The Cape Town city council will lay charges against three of the protesters who slaughtered a sheep at Clifton Beach last week, mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said on Sunday.

Smith said the charges would be brought in terms of the city's by-laws, while the SPCA was preparing to lay charges of animal cruelty against those who performed the ritual slaughter on Clifton's popular Fourth Beach.

It was part of a protest by lobby group the Black People National Crisis Committee following an incident in which staff from a private security company, Professional Protection Alternatives (PPA), ordered visitors to Fourth Beach to leave, claiming that for the festive season the beach would be off-limits after 8 pm.

PPA claimed it was acting on the authority of the City of Cape Town, but the council denies having any contract with the company.

Smith said the council has laid a complaint against the company with the private security regulatory authority, PRISA.

The incident has caused a political storm. Opponents of the Democratic Alliance, which controls the council, accuse it of fostering racial segregation reminiscent of the apartheid era when most beaches were reserved for whites.

Sunday saw the Economic Freedom Fighters mass supporters onto Fourth Beach to protest against racial exclusion.

Mayor Dan Plato insists that there is no racial bias and that all population groups are welcome on the city's public beaches.

African News Agency (ANA)