Baaaad for tourism
By John Fraser
Wow! Who would have thought just a few weeks ago that the country would be in a tizzy over:
a) first the presence on a beach of a band of security guards, and then
b) a sheep having its throat cut on one of CT’s poshest beaches?
The racial polarisation over this issue would be hilarious, were it not so worrying.
Before my own questions on all this, here is a fairly measured statement by the CT Mayor:
CITY OF CAPE TOWN
31 DECEMBER 2018
STATEMENT BY THE EXECUTIVE MAYOR OF CAPE TOWN, DAN PLATO
City outlines actions around events at Clifton 4th Beach
The City of Cape Town will be taking a series of actions in response to the events which unfolded at Clifton 4th Beach in the last week.
In respect of events on Sunday 23 December 2018, where a private security company, Professional Protection Alternatives (PPA), were accused of requesting beachgoers to leave the beach following several alleged safety concerns, the City will be laying a complaint with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) once its offices reopen after the festive season.
The organisation is a nationally constituted body that governs the private security industry. We are laying the complaint so that the matter can be fully investigated by the appropriate structure so that any wrongdoing can be identified and addressed accordingly by PSIRA.
In respect of events on Friday 28 December 2018, where a sheep was slaughtered during a protest on the beach, the City will serve a notice on the protest organiser as the act was performed in contravention of the City’s By-laws. It is our understanding that the Cape of Good Hope SPCA will also open a case of animal cruelty.
Many persons have asked why the City did not act. It should be noted that during public order policing situations, the South African Police Service assumes command over all policing staff on the scene. Senior SAPS officials in charge of the situation at Clifton on the day would not allow City and SPCA staff to act to prevent the slaughter.
We will be engaging with the SAPS on this matter, as well as with the Western Cape Police Ombudsman, as we cannot allow anyone to undermine City By-laws and prevent them from being implemented.
At issue was an allegation by the African National Congress (ANC) that a private security company acted inappropriately and this claim subsequently went viral on social media – at no point was an actual complaint directed via the correct channels for investigation.
The feedback I have received is that, despite the insinuation that particular races groups were targeted, all race groups were in fact asked to leave the beach; and they were asked in a peaceful, non-aggressive manner. PSIRA will have to get to the bottom of this, but to manipulate this information as has been done over the past week is disgusting and plays on the emotions of many.
Going forward, we remind the public that our facilities are open to all and that only uniformed City staff have the power to enforce by-laws.
Anyone else who claims to have such powers is likely impersonating a peace officer, which is an offence.
Furthermore, we encourage visitors to City-owned public facilities to report any problems or concerns about the conduct of staff or any person claiming to have peace officer status to our 24-hour hotline on 0800 32 31 30, which is monitored by an independent service provider.
Any safety concerns or requests for emergency assistance can be directed to the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre by dialling 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or 107 from a landline.
Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town
OK? Well, I have a few questions:
Given the sensitivity of the issue, why did we not immediately know exactly what happened when people were asked to leave the beach? Why were they asked to do so? If there was no racial discrimination, why was the situation not immediately diffused by a statement to that effect? Sorry, Mr Mayor. This was a fuck-up of note.
Why was there no clear plan to prevent the sheep slaughter on the beach? Why were the correct authorities not deployed – early and in force? If the SAPS had the authority, why no proper liaison with the City? Which political and police authorities were incompetent? Or has some other agenda? They must be identified and sacked.
There is, as yet, no law preventing people who do well from purchasing expensive properties in Clifton, and other seaside spots, and enjoying the lifestyle.
Equally, there is no reason why people who follow the law and behave responsibly should be stopped from enjoying each and every one of our public beaches.
All of this is a very dangerous storm in a turbulent teacup.
Instead of making it all go away, the bungling authorities have taken a tense situation and made it far, far worse.
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