Knickers in a knot over strip club

2012-05-05 16:25

Residents of Mpumalanga’s sleepy capital have been worked into a froth by news that the city is soon to get its first strip club.

The club, Tango Blue, will be situated along the R40 in Rocky’s Drift just outside Nelspruit. It was due to open last week, but Tango Blue’s owner had some loose ends to tie up with the Mbombela municipality before opening his doors for the first time.

It’s not as though Nelspruit’s residents don’t like a good party – even one with a naughty edge. Not even a sex shop that was built next door to a church on Nelspruit’s Samora Machel Drive caused this much consternation when it opened several years ago.

And sushi king Kenny Kunene’s decision to open a Nelspruit branch of his ZAR nightclub barely raised eyebrows in the Lowveld town.

But Tango Blue is a different story. Nelspruit’s biggest community newspaper, the Lowvelder, has been bombarded with letters from horrified residents decrying the club and its owner.

“Concerned citizens, please don’t panic about the new strip joint being opened. God has a way of dealing with the trashy type . . . People who hang out in these places are losers,” commented one writer, who called himself José.

Barb Patton, who now lives in Oklahoma in the United States and described herself as a former Nelspruit resident, wrote: “It may interest those who don’t know that the majority of sex workers in the States publicly admit to being lesbians, hate males and are in the sex trade and industry only for the ka-ching ka-ching to buy their drugs and give the rest of the money to their pimps.

“Perhaps the fathers of the city of Nelspruit should revise who and what they want in their city and try to uphold the Lowveld as an attractive place for tourists to visit rather than a shady dorp with third-rate sex workers,” a clearly irate Patton wrote.

Another reader, Jam, warned: “It destroys marriages and families. It keeps money from enhancing the family life.”

Tango Blue’s owner, Cat Smith, has opted to lie low for now.
His spokesperson, Carien Olivier, told City Press that Smith would comment when Tango Blue opened.
“Plans are going full steam ahead and we’re just sorting out some stuff. When we’re ready to open, we’ll call everyone,” Olivier said.
Mbombela municipal spokesperson Joseph Ngala said no formal objections had been lodged with the council about Tango Blue. He added that the club had not yet been granted a licence to operate.

“We have not received any objections to the establishment thus far. Tango Blue approached us and we explained that building plans must first be submitted and a trading licence should be sought from our trade section. Also, they had to contact health inspectors as this is a place that will serve food and beverages,” Ngala said.

Smith told the Lowvelder newspaper two weeks ago that Tango Blue was an “up-market gentlemen’s lounge and show bar”.
He had been planning to open the venue for about five years.

Smith told the Lowvelder he and his business partners had spent about R9 million to buy and refurbish the venue, a 170-seater lounge and restaurant.

Tango Blue has a VIP area and a champagne-and-cigar lounge. Private booths will be provided for lap dances.

“This is a seated club. If you stand up you will be asked to sit and if you do not request a lap dance within an hour you will be asked to leave,” Smith told the Lowvelder.

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