Cele defends shutting down filming production as City of Cape Town seeks interdict

Police Minister Bheki Cele visits various Cape Town beaches to assess Covid-19 regulations compliance, 16 December 2020. Picture: SAPS

The minister and his entourage visited multiple beaches in and around the city on Wednesday.

The Minister of Police Minister, General Bheki Cele has defended shutting down filming production shooting in Camps Bay, Cape Town on Wednesday, 16 December.

Beaches in Cape Town narrowly avoided latest  Covid-19 restrictions by government after they were allowed to remain open between 9:00am and 6:00pm, with the exception of those in the Eastern Cape as well as in the Garden Route in the Western Cape.

On Wednesday, Cele and South African Police Service (SAPS) officials conducted an inspection on beaches in Cape Town in effort to ensure that regulations were being followed by citizens.

Bheki Cele visits various Cape Town beaches to assess Covid-19 regulations compliance. Picture: SAPS

The minister and his entourage visited Camps Bay, Strand, Clifton, Munwabisi, Big Bay, Strandfontein, Macassar, Mnandi other beaches in and around the city.

READ MORE: Beaches are closed but we have rivers, lagoons says Mossel Bay mayor

During the inspection, Cele noted with concern over the film production –  who were shooting a commercial permitted by the City of Cape Town – that it “was not compliant with what is permitted on beaches, as stipulated on the Covid-19 regulations”.

“According to the permit of the production company that was handed to the SAPS, the production would go against the very rules set out by the President which are clear on what is permitted on beaches and therefore could not be allowed to continue for now,” Cele said in a statement.

City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith revealed that the city would approach the court in order to prohibit Cele from interfering with future shoots.

“I just had two seniors officials and a legal advisor check them [Covid-19 regulations]. So now they will be approaching the court for an urgent interdict to prevent the minister for further interfering with other people’s legal rights,” Smith said.

Meanwhile, the Garden Route Municipality, the Great Brak Business Forum, lobby group AfriForum and the Democratic Alliance (DA) are also seeking to challenge the decision to close beaches in the Garden Route over the festive season due to Covid-19.

In a notice of motion filed in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday, the business forum and AfriForum stated their intention to have the amended Covid-19 Regulations 69(12)(a), (b), (c) and (d) declared unconstitutional.

AfriForum said in a statement that limiting access to beaches, which were public property, amounted to the restriction of a basic human right.

The regulations state that all beaches in the Eastern Cape and Garden Route will be closed from 16 December to 3 January 2021.

However, beaches in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) will only be closed on the busiest days of the season, namely 16, 25, 26 and 31 December, as well as from 1 to 3 January.

Additional reporting from News24 Wire

READ NEXT: Closed Garden Route beaches will be ‘devastating’ to WC economy – Winde

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