Owner of Buccaneers Bar in EL arrested for flouting lockdown rules

A video of the gathering has since gone viral on social media.

In the video, revellers at an East London venue can be seen downing liquor while maintaining close contact. Picture: Screenshot

CAPE TOWN - An East London bar and restaurant owner has been arrested and fined for flouting COVID-19 regulations.

A video of the gathering has since gone viral on social media.

It shows revellers dancing in close proximity in the overcrowded venue and only one person can be seen wearing a mask.

When authorities arrived at Buccaneers on Monday, the owner denied all claims.

He had already deleted all camera footage and the Buffalo City Municipality's Samkelo Ngwenya said this served as an admission of guilt.

"He could not prove that that video was actually not authentic and as such he ended up admitting to a fine of guilt. He was arrested and given a fine of R5,000 to pay or face court at a later date."

He paid the fine for breaching the venue's capacity.

Although the criminal matter has now concluded, the municipality is still exploring other methods of taking action.

"The fine in itself, which is looking into overcrowding is not enough. We're talking about risking lives here, hence we are trying to pursue the issue of licensing conditions because we feel those were also transgressed."

Considering the ailing economy, Ngwenya said the aim was not to shut down businesses, but to get owners to adhere to the rules, and not put lives at risk.

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