Fourth Beach braces itself for a lamb chop as protesters #ReclaimClifton
Clifton's Fourth Beach was ready for braaivleis, sunny skies and possible disarray on Friday as protesters vowed to slaughter a sheep in order to "reclaim" the beach.
But the City of Cape Town said it would not send additional law enforcement officials to monitor the evening's events.
Various groups of activists said they would slaughter sheep, make fires and occupy the beach in protest against security guards allegedly chasing away revellers on Sunday.
City of Cape Town mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said law enforcement personnel would be under the control of public order police, who would monitor the event “from a respectable distance”.
The pristine white shores of Clifton became the centre of a political storm on Sunday after guards from Professional Protection Alternatives (PPA) allegedly told visitors the beach was closed and that they needed to leave.
The security company has since denied claims that it tried to close the beach, saying it only warned people it was unsafe after dark, citing incidents including drunken fights and an alleged rape. Police said on Thursday that no rape had been reported.
Smith said the slaughter of animals and making of fires on the beach was not allowed by city by-laws.
Earlier on Friday, Fourth Beach was crammed with tourists and yachts bobbed in the sea beyond the breakers.
#ReclaimClifton organisers were scouting out the location of Friday night’s event. “We are at the beach just to check if all is in order. The sheep is ready and hundreds of people are coming,” said Ncedisa Mpemnyama, one of the leaders of the new Black People’s National Crisis Committee.
He said the organisation had lawyers on standby in case there was any trouble.
“We are going to cleanse the demon of racism and invoke the spirit of Makanda Nxele,” said Mpemnyama.
The ANC secretary in the Western Cape, Faiez Jacobs, was among those moved from the beach on Sunday, and he has since condemned what happened.
He has been joined by a host of other politicians, including former mayor Patricia De Lille, former mayoral committee member Brett Herron and deputy police minister Bongani Mkongi, all of whom said PPA’s conduct formed part of a Cape Town landscape which excludes people of colour from public spaces. Mkongi was due to attend Friday evening's protest.
The city council has disputed claims of racial bias and distanced itself from PPA, denying any working relationship with the security firm.
Smith said: “This is a fight between the private security company and those persons who they unlawfully gave instructions to, none of whom to date have laid a charge."