Mpenjati nudist beach report lurks

2017-04-28 06:00

NOTICE of the Public Protector’s (PP) report on the Mpenjati nudist beach is being drafted for Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, says the PP.

Public Protector spokesperson Oupas Segwale said on Tuesday the report on irregularities in Ray Nkonyeni’s authorisation of Mpenjati beach as being nudist friendly was being drafted, however, a Section 7(9) notice would be issued to the municipality prior to the release of the report. “This is a notice that the Public Protector sends to parties against whom she is considering adverse finding. It provides the parties with an opportunity to make representations against the provisional findings before the report is finalised for release,” said Segwale.

Segwale said the report was resolved to after last year’s meetings aimed at resolving the disputes on the matter after a complaint, which was laid by the Concerned Citizens of Hibiscus Coast Municipality’s Reverend Mike Effanga, failed to produce any settlement.

“We can’t pre-empt what is likely to be in the report. All that everybody can do to help the process is let the investigation run its course without hindrance,” said Segwale.

Effanga, however, said he is positive the report would rule in their favour.

“The public protector has a reputation of siding with the law and a nudist beach is in contravention of both the municipal bylaws and South African law,” said Effanga.

“The question of public nudity has not even risen above man’s law, let alone God’s law. We are not against nudity within private spaces, but not publicly.

“The fact that the area has many trees around it does not make it private,” said Effanga adding that his organisation would fight an unfavourable result from the report to the “highest court”.

Chair of the South African Naturists Association Athol Lofty Lutge said he had advised his members to refrain from going to the beach while they await the report.

“The matter also points to a discrimination issue because some cultures are allowed to walk around topless while others are not and also gender discrimination, men are allowed to walk around topless while women aren’t,” said Lutge. Ray Nkonyeni Municipality said they would accept whatever outcome came from the Public protector report. “The municipality is clear in that it will await the determination by the Public Protector and will accept whatever outcome,” said April.

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