Thwack! De Lille hits out in the Clifton beach security row

28 December 2018 - 11:47 By Dave Chambers
Patricia de Lille has aimed brickbats at the City of Cape Town's new leadership over the Clifton beach row.
Patricia de Lille has aimed brickbats at the City of Cape Town's new leadership over the Clifton beach row.
Image: Twitter/Patricia de Lille

Former Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille says heads should roll if it emerges that a security company cleared Clifton’s Fourth Beach “in terms of some arrangement” with the city council.

De Lille, who has launched the Good party since leaving the mayor’s office on October 31 2018, said in a tweeted statement that she was shocked that Professional Protection Alternatives (PPA) “has been permitted to police our magnificent Camps Bay and Clifton beaches”.

She added: “Public amenities have no closing times. We have long passed the days of curfews and restricted movement. There is no lawful or rational basis for this security company to shut down our beaches at 8pm or at all.”

De Lille was critical of her successor as mayor, Dan Plato, and the mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, one of her most vociferous opponents when she held the post.

“I’m appalled by the lack of leadership and accountability from Cape Town’s political leadership. They are absent,” she said.

“Executive mayor Dan Plato needs to explain to South Africans how a public beach came to be shut down and allegedly in collusion with the city’s law enforcement management.”

City of Cape Town safety and security executive director Richard Bosman has denied the council had any contract with PPA, but in an interview on eNCA he repeatedly refused to answer a question about whether the company and the council had an informal arrangement.

De Lille said: “The reports we are receiving suggest that PPA was conducting law enforcement with the tacit approval of the city’s metro police.

“The city’s leadership needs to account for what happened, and if PPA were acting without an explicit or tacit arrangement with law enforcement then criminal charges need to be laid against them.

“If they were acting in terms of some arrangement then heads should roll.”

PPA has made clear it will not have guards present on Friday evening when the Black People’s National Crisis Committee says it intends to slaughter a sheep and braai the meat in a cleansing ceremony to “reclaim” Fourth Beach from whites.

Committee chairman Chumani Maxwele, who shot to prominence when he poured sewage over the statue of Cecil Rhodes at the University of Cape Town, said: “We are inviting people of all colour, the residents of Clifton as well, to join us.”

Deputy police minister Bongani Mkongi said he would attend Friday’s protest and expressed “dismay over ongoing reports of the conduct of private security companies in public amenities at the City of Cape Town”.