WATCH: ‘You can’t come in here unaccompanied without a white person’, patron told at Cape Town pub

A Cape Town man takes one of the owners of Hank's Olde Irish Pub to task about its racist policy. Photo: supplied

A Cape Town man takes one of the owners of Hank's Olde Irish Pub to task about its racist policy. Photo: supplied

Published Dec 5, 2022


Cape Town - A video has gone viral on social media platforms where a white man blatantly calls out a popular Cape Town pub owner for their racist policies.

A three part video was shared on Twitter on Saturday where the white friend of the unknown black man who was denied entry thrashed management of Hank’s Olde Irish in Bree Street.

In the video, the victim’s friend tells management, an older white man, that discriminating in South Africa is a crime.

Unaware they were being filmed, the victim, who is later identified as Thabiso, was allegedly denied entry by the pub’s bouncer.

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His friend said the bouncer asked him where he was going, and he asked why.

“Your bouncer stopped him (Thabiso) and asked him why are you going in, who you going in to?

“He (Thabiso) said why are you asking me and then he ( the bouncer) said you can’t come in here unaccompanied without a white person.

“If you come in here, I know what you like, you steal. You guys cause trouble. You need to come in here with a white person.

“He was asked who decides this, and he said it was what the bosses have told me,” the friend is heard saying on the video.

He further alleges the pub's bouncer said it was not his decision but rather the pub’s policy.

The frustrated friend tells the manager of the establishment that this may have happened to more people and explained that it was a crime.

“Do you know where you exist? You exist in South Africa, where we have a deeply painful history of this shit,” the friend said.

In a very monotone response to the friend, the older white man said the pub has been in business for eight years and has never had an ‘incident’ before.

He further seeks validation to his claim by asking the bartender and other employees to back him up.

However, his slow speaking further irritates Thabiso’s friend, and he asks: “what are you saying? Address the issue”.

The older man, who is later identified as the owner, said he would have to fire the bouncer.

Members of the EFF in the Western Cape have vowed to take actions against the racist establishment. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane

The owner claims it is not his policy, shifting the blame to the bouncer.

“This has never happened,” he said.

While he remains adamant he is dealing with the issue and will have a talk with his bouncer, Thabiso’s friend tells the owner to look at him (Thabiso) in the eye and apologise instead of giving a flimsy ‘I’m sorry’.

The owner approaches Thabiso and softly can be heard saying: “I am deeply sorry”, and Thabiso, who speaks for the first time since the filming of the video, can be heard responding: “I don’t think you mean what you’re saying”.

Before walking off, Thabiso’s friend warns the owner this racist incident will not be going away.

In a separate video after the confrontation, further CCTV footage was leaked on social media of Thabiso’s friend being assaulted. Pictures of the man with a bloodied face has been shared on social media platforms.

On Sunday, members of the EFF in the Western Cape visited the pub with placards reading: ‘racism must fall’ and ‘EFF was here’ was left on the fencing of the establishment.

In a statement released, the party said the actions of the pub was blatant racism, criminalisation, racial profiling, degradation and reduction of black people to criminals and prisoners who must always be under watch.

“This racism reveals the psychosis of many white racists who are still locked in a racist paradigm of white exclusivity and the old days of apartheid nostalgia.

“It unveils the mentality of co-owner/s of Hank’s Olde Irish Pub, through whose racist utterances we get the sense that the pub sees itself as a whites-only pub where blacks are not welcomed and when they enter, they are characterised as thieves and trouble makers.

“This is reminiscent of the infamous Separate Amenities Act of 1953 that reserved the best facilities for whites only, while facilities for other race groups were substandard,” it said.

The political party said this was not an individual or an isolated case but both a structural and endemic phenomenon.

It said the visit to the establishment was to ensure the pub does not operate until the racists have paid the ultimate price.

“A case of racial discrimination will be laid with the South African Human Rights Commission and other relevant institutions.

“We are calling for their trading license to be taken away,” the party said.

It also announced that Hank’s Olde Irish Pub is closed until further notice.