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Clifton 4th incident: ‘We were warning beachgoers about sexual assault’

Professional Protection Alternatives has come under fire for attempting to remove people from Clifton 4th beach on Sunday.

FILE: Clifton Beach in Cape Town. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN – Private security company Professional Protection Alternatives (PPA) says it was warning beachgoers about a sexual assault crime that had occurred on the beach.

The company has come under fire for attempting to remove people from Clifton 4th beach on Sunday.

A legal representative for the security company, Bruce Hendriks, says PPA guards worked alongside metro police to caution the public.

“On that day, that line was clearly breached because there were incidents of sexual assaults/rape.”

However, the City of Cape Town has confirmed with Camps Bay police that no incidents of rape were reported on Sunday at Clifton 4th beach.

LISTEN: City of CT on why beachgoers were kicked off Clifton Beach

CITY BY-LAWS

The drama began after the African National Congress (ANC) in the Western Cape cried foul when one of its members was told to leave Clifton Beach at sunset.

There is no by-law that states beaches must be vacated after sunset, but the City of Cape Town law enforcement officials can use their discretion in asking people to leave if they believe safety might be compromised.

Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith says private security has never had the power to exercise City by-laws: “This is not a problem unique to Clifton. I receive complaints from people across Cape Town, where residents even send me videos clips of security companies exceeding their powers and searching people on the street in an aggressive manner.

“So, I think this is a nationwide problem where private security feels they need to step into gaps left by what they perceive as police inadequacy and their customers are happy to pay.”

Smith has reiterated that law enforcement staff who were at Clifton 4th Beach have confirmed members of the private security company were not at the beach at their request.

“City council director for safety and security Richard Bosman called all those law enforcement staffers for a meeting on Thursday morning. If the law enforcement staff where part of it and they cleared the beach, then there’s no problem. We’ve had three nasty incidents on our beaches, involving mostly young men. In one [incident] they ran into a restaurant to fetch a knife, so they could finish a fight,” says Smith.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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