Police conduct under scrutiny after Clifton Beach sheep slaughter

Demonstrators celebrate at Fourth Beach in Clifton on Friday December 28, 2018, after a sheep was slaughtered in a cleansing ceremony.
Demonstrators celebrate at Fourth Beach in Clifton on Friday December 28, 2018, after a sheep was slaughtered in a cleansing ceremony.
Image: Twitter/iGrootman

The City of Cape Town says it will "engage" with the police and Western Cape police ombudsman about the conduct of a senior officer who prevented law enforcement officers from enforcing a bylaw at Clifton Fourth Beach at the weekend. 

Protesters slaughtered a sheep to exorcise the "demon of racism" after days of rising tension and claims about apartheid-style beach bans.

Cape Town mayor Dan Plato said that senior SAPS officials in charge of the situation at Clifton on Friday would not allow the city and SPCA staff to prevent the slaughter of a sheep. 

“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,” said Plato in a statement issued on Monday afternoon.

“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 bylaws and prevent them from being implemented,” he added. 

The city will also lay a complaint against Professional Protection Alternatives (PPA), the private security company at the centre of a beach curfew row. The company will be reported to the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) once the regulatory body’s offices reopen after the festive season. “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,” said Plato.

He said in respect to the slaughtering of a sheep during a protest on the beach, the city would serve a notice on the protest organiser as the act was performed in contravention of city bylaws. It is our understanding that the Cape of Good Hope SPCA will also open a case of animal cruelty, said Plato.

Professional Protection Alternatives (PPA), a private security company hired by some residents at Clifton Fourth Beach, was accused of ordering people off the beach after 8pm last Sunday. The company said it was assisting city law enforcement staff but the city denied they had a relationship.

In his statement, Plato dismissed the “insinuation” that particular race groups were targeted, saying 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,” he added. 

-TMG Digital 

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