Strip club in fight to stay open

2012-02-06 09:12

Cape Town strip club Mavericks wants the Western Cape High Court to declare the Home Affairs’ revoking of its corporate permits as unconstitutional.

The club filed papers on Friday after it was dealt a major legal blow that could result in the business shutting down, the Cape Times newspaper reported today.

It had sought an interdict to stop Home Affairs from deporting its foreign strippers, after the department decided in October to revoke the club’s corporate permits.

Had the club not taken the matter to court, 16 of its dancers would have been deported in November.

On Friday, however, Judge Siraj Desai dismissed the application with costs and referred the matter to the South African Human Rights Commission to investigate whether the human rights of Mavericks’ dancers were being infringed.

The strippers were “not paid at all”, were expected to pay the club R2 000 a week and their working and living conditions made them susceptible to exploitation.

Desai said the women were in a “vulnerable situation” and the fact that the person responsible for them demanded large amounts of money every week possibly placed owner Shane Harrison in contravention of the international Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons.

The club’s bid for an interdict was the first of a two-part court action. It is challenging the constitutionality of the department’s decision to revoke its permits, as well as the immigration regulations on which the decision was based.

In an affidavit submitted to the high court, Harrison brands the procedures under the regulations “blatantly unconstitutional”.

Harrison intended meeting his lawyers today to weigh up what the judgment would mean for the club, and plan his next step. 

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