ANC Western Cape asks public protector to probe Clifton saga

The City of Cape Town has denied that a private security company which has been strong-arming beachgoers to leave Clifton Beach by 8pm over the festive season has been operating with its permission. Picture: Armand Hough / African News Agency (ANA)

The beach became a focal point of community protests over the festive season after a security firm set a curfew and asked people to leave.

The African National Congress (ANC) in the Western Cape said today it has asked Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to investigate the alleged racial incident which occurred at Cape Town’s world famous Clifton Fourth beach in December.

A furore erupted over Christmas after it emerged that beachgoers were instructed to leave Clifton Fourth Beach. Beachgoers, including ANC provincial secretary Faiz Jacobs and his family, were instructed to leave the beach after members of a private security company, PPA, allegedly imposed an 8pm curfew on the beach.

The actions by PPA sparked outrage, with many people drawing parallels between that and apartheid-era legislation and action which saw black people prohibited from frequenting beaches set aside for whites.

The issue has caused a racial row in the city, with Cape Town Mayor and Democratic Alliance (DA) member Dan Plato denying the matter was racial and accusing the ANC and other action groups of trying to score cheap political points.

The beach has since become a focal point of community protests over the festive season.

In his letter to Mkhwebane, Jacobs asks her to establish whether PPA was acting with the permission of the City of Cape Town or certain councillors, such as mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith; if ratepayers and residents associations have paid for its services; if PPA is a financial contributor to the DA; and if PPA is registered as a security company.

“I’m hereby asking you to investigate the incident, to establish if PPA has done, or is doing other work for the City of Cape Town, and if so, whether such work was put out in tender and if so, whether the appropriate steps were taken in securing PPA’s services, [and] if DA leader Mmusi Maimane knew about the work PPA was doing and if he had a hand in ‘terminating’ the company’s contract with the City,” Jacobs said.

The City of Cape Town has denied any involvement in the incident and accused the PPA of overstepping its mandate by forcing the closure of the beach.

African News Agency (ANA)

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