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Plato appeals for time to investigate Clifton 4th beach matter

During a visit to the beach on Friday, Plato told journalists he needs to conduct a thorough investigation into what happened on Clifton fourth.

Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN – Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato has appealed to the media and the public for time to investigate a growing outcry over Clifton fourth beach.

Last week, a member of the ANC in the Western Cape cried foul, saying members of the private security company PPA had told he and his friends to leave the beach after sunset.

The Company's legal representative has told Eyewitness News its members didn't ask anyone to leave the beach, saying rather they were warning beachgoers of the possible dangers of being on the beach after dark.

He added PPA has an unwritten agreement with the city and that it has helped law enforcement officials in past operations.

The City has strenuously denied this saying in a statement it has no contact with the company.

During a visit to the beach on Friday, Plato told journalists he needs to conduct a thorough investigation into what happened on Clifton fourth.

“I’m very disappointed in what happened because there are too many conflicting stories. We don’t know the truth and people don’t want to do the investigation first; they want me to take immediate sides.

“In my capacity as Executive Mayor of Cape Town, there’s no way that I’ll be forced to take sides.”

On Friday, members of a lobby group born out of the fees must fall movement slaughtered a sheep on the beach.

They did not have a city permit for the slaughter.

On Saturday evening, the people who originally sounded the alarm over PPA's involvement on the beach are returning to Clifton 4th for what they are describing as a peaceful picnic protest on the beach.

ANC SUPPORTS SIT-IN

The Western Cape African National Congress (ANC) is supporting the planned sit-in on the beach to protest action by a private security company.

This afternoon the people who first brought the issue of PPA's actions to light will hold their own protest picnic on Clifton fourth.

The Western Cape ANC is supporting the picnic, it's spokesperson Dennis Cruywagen said, “It will be a peaceful picnic, that’s the intention to peacefully make the point that the beach belongs to all Capetonians.”

On Friday, a lobby group called the Black People's National Crisis Committee slaughtered a sheep on the beach.

Members told Eyewitness News the action was aimed at reclaiming the space.

Their protest came shortly after a visit by the deputy Police Minister who decried the security company's actions as racial profiling.

Plato rejected this narrative, saying the company cleared people of all races off the beach and reiterating the fact that it was in the wrong to do so.

Earlier, the party rejected claims that it's using a row over beaches as a political football.

A member of the party was among those asked to leave Clifton 4th Beach in Cape Town by a private security company on Sunday.

Cruywagen said the incident that sparked the outrage was not staged.

“There have been some allegations that people have been deliberately trying to provoke a confrontation for political ends, that’s not true. They went there to celebrate an annual event, and in any case, any beach in South Africa should be open to any citizen of this country.”

Deputy Police Minister Bongani Mkongi has decried the incident as racial profiling.

“In 1989, we had a defiance campaign [and] I was a small boy. We were entering here as part of our defiance campaign. People were swimming here with their dogs, but they didn’t want to allow us as black people to enter this particular beach. So, you can’t do the same down the line in a democratic South Africa.”

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