Mayor Dan Plato suggests naked eviction was staged to make city look bad

03 July 2020 - 06:54 By ERNEST MABUZA
Cape Town mayor Dan Plato apologised to Bulelani Qholani on July 2 2020 after the Khayelitsha man was dragged naked from his home by city council law-enforcement officers.
Cape Town mayor Dan Plato apologised to Bulelani Qholani on July 2 2020 after the Khayelitsha man was dragged naked from his home by city council law-enforcement officers.
Image: GroundUp/Ashraf Hendricks

Cape Town mayor Dan Plato says he has seen footage showing that Bulelani Qholani, the man who was dragged out of a shack naked during an eviction by the city in Khayelitsha, was clothed moments before the incident.

Plato was speaking to eNCA on Thursday night concerning the eviction of people from a number of shacks in Khayelitsha on Wednesday.

The city found itself in hot water as scores of South Africans reacted to the evictions - particularly the viral video of Qholani, who was removed from his shack while naked.

Asked whether the eviction was how the city treated poor people, Plato said he was of the opinion that to some extent the event was staged.

“I think it was to some extent deliberately done to put the city of Cape Town in a very bad light,” he said

When asked whether he was suggesting Qholani was doing this to make the city look bad, Plato said “absolutely”.

The mayor said it was common cause that in many of the raids where structures needed to be demolished, people stood in front of the structures naked.

“It is not the first incident and it is not the last incident,” he said.

When asked where Qholani was on Thursday night, Plato said he did not know where he was. “Maybe with friends, maybe at his other house. My thinking is that this structure was not his structure.”

Plato said he did not condone that Qholani was naked and was dragged out of his shack without an attempt to clothe him.

However, he said Qholani had his clothes on moments before the officers moved into the shack.

The city had recordings of what had transpired and it showed Qholani's movements, he said.

“The person was initially not in the structure [that was demolished]. He was standing at the previous structure. [Footage shows] he moved into that structure and the officers moved in. When they moved into the structure, he did not have clothes on.”

Plato said a full-scale investigation was under way to establish what had occurred, step by step.


X