WATCH | Owners of Cape Town bar accused of racism release statement, open assault case against patrons

The owners of Hanks Olde Irish in Cape Town have released a statement and opened an assault case against some of the patrons who accused the owners of being institutional racists by not allowing a black person entry without a white escort.

The confrontation between patrons and one of the owners of the bar went viral on social media at the weekend. A patron can be seen accusing the owner of having a policy which only allows black people inside if they are accompanied by a white person.

“You told me you have the right to let in who you want. You don’t. This is not a calm situation,” Christopher Logan said when he confronted the owner inside the establishment.

“You don’t have a right to discriminate in this country based on colour. That is a crime.”

The owners of Hanks Olde Irish said there was no such policy regarding black patrons.

“We want to state categorically that in the past 30 years of operating businesses in Cape Town, we, as the owners, have never, nor have we ever instructed our staff, to discriminate on any basis whatsoever, whether that be gender, sexual orientation or race.”

After the altercation between Logan and the owner, CCTV captured a scuffle between patrons and the owner at the entrance to the venue. The venue handed this to the police and opened a case of assault.

The owners of the venue said: “We also want to place on record that we are extremely concerned for the wellbeing and safety of our staff involved, therefore we will not be commenting any further while we conduct the required internal disciplinary process with regard to these allegations, and while police conduct their criminal investigation into the case of assault opened against the individuals making accusations in the video, on the owners of Hanks. Please allow the due processes to take their course. We are confident the facts will clear us of all these spurious, offensive and damaging claims.”