The main group behind this, the Black People’s National Crisis Committee (BPNCC), staged a protest at the beach yesterday as tensions escalated over the planned slaughter of a sheep, to “cleanse” the beach of “evil spirits” and to put an end to racism in South Africa.
Cape Town mayor Dan Plato consulted police officers about the slaughter, saying city officials advised him it was illegal to kill sheep without a permit.
It was reported that a police general told him the situation would escalate beyond the officers’ control if they intervened.
He explained that the protesters made claims to their constitutional, religious and cultural rights, and it was not the police’s role to make a constitutional determination.
Clifton 4th has been in the spotlight since last Sunday when a security company, Professional Protection Alternatives (PPA), allegedly acting with authority from the City of Cape Town, escorted people off the beach and advised beachgoers the beach would close at 8pm.
The city council, in turn, denied any links to PPA.
BPNCC spokesperson Chumani Maxwele said it called on ancestor Chief Makanda to cleanse the spot where fellow South Africans were allegedly ill-treated.
The protesters were also addressed by Deputy Minister of Police Bongani Mkongi.
There was a heavy presence of police and law enforcement officers but Maxwele said the protest was peaceful.
The ANC in the Western Cape is also due to return to Clifton 4th beach today to express its support for BPNCC and other organisations.
Former mayor Patricia de Lille waded in on the saga.
De Lille is demanding that mayor Dan Plato explain to South Africans how a public beach came to be shutdown and allegedly in “collusion” with the city council’s law enforcement management.
She said, “It is shocking to learn that a private security company has been permitted to police our magnificent Camps Bay and Clifton Beaches.”
“Public amenities have no closing times. We have long passed the days of curfews and restricted movement.
“There is no lawful or rational basis for this security company to shutdown” our beaches at 8pm or at all.”
She said the behaviour by PPA “tramples on our hard-won constitutional rights and anyone who was forced to leave the beach should lay criminal charges with the police”.
“I’m appalled by the lack of leadership and accountability from Cape Town’s political leadership. They are absent,” she said.
Despite the city denying any involvement with PPA, De Lille said, “We are receiving suggestions that PPA, the security company, was conducting law enforcement with the tacit approval of the city’s metro police”.
Plato was clear that “a security organisation operating at Clifton beach had no authority to ask anyone to leave and that they asked people of all races to leave, and did not single out any race groups”.
The mayor said he intends to visit the city’s beaches over the next week.
All efforts by Weekend Argus to get comment from PPA have been ignored.