Cape Town -
A liquor licence granted to an establishment a metre from one of the country’s oldest mosques has raised the ire of Bo-Kaap residents, who vowed to have the licence withdrawn.
Legislation forbids the granting of a liquor licence to a bottle store or bar within the vicinity of schools or places of worship.
About 100 residents demonstrated on Wednesday outside Abantu Restaurant and Bar on the corner of Buitengragt and Wale Street to express their anger at a licence granted in January to the establishment previously named Time and Place Restaurant and Bar. It is situated right next to the Nurul Islam mosque, built in 1834.
“Authorities placed the first bar in Bo-Kaap right next to the mosque. We want to know why we were not consulted. We have support from non-Muslim residents and churches,” said Bo-Kaap Civic Association chairman Osman Shabodien.
He said the demonstration would continue daily until next Thursday, followed by a protest march to the Provincial Legislature.
“We’ve spoken to the bar’s owner, a Mr Sam, who said as far as he is concerned, he has a licence and can trade. We are very angry,” Shabodien said.
The mosque’s imam, Serag Johaar, said the bar’s kitchen window opened in front of his office and the noise and odours were intolerable.
“This is just too much. The sanctity of the mosque is being disrespected.”
DA ward councillor Dave Bryant said when the licence was granted, he was not a councillor. He said the Provincial Liquor Board, and not the city, had issued the licence and he was against it. “We are doing follow-up,” he said.
Western Cape Liquor Board chairman Raybin Windvogel could not be reached, while Abantu’s staff refused to divulge the owner’s details.