No ‘skinny dipping’ at Mpenjati beach just yet

2016-12-08 06:01

NUDE bathing at Mpenjati beach is prohibited until the Public Protector submits her report on the matter, which is said to be ready early next year.

This comes after Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, the officials of Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, representatives from the Concerned Citizens Group and other stakeholders held a meeting at the site on Saturday.

The Concerned Citizens Group, after engaging with the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality for several months, wrote to the Public Protector’s office last year, expressing their concerns over the moral and ethical considerations, legal issues, environmental laws as well as socioeconomic and cultural issues.

Pastor Mike Effanga, who represents the group, said he was relieved that nudity has been banned in the meantime and that the sign boards depicting the Mpenjati beach as nude friendly, have been removed.

“We would like the public to know that nobody is allowed to go nude at the Mpenjati beach until the Public Protector submits her report on the matter, which we anticipate will be early next year.

“Allowing people to bathe in the nude sets the wrong precedent. It was illegal and served as a detriment to residents. It was wrong from the beginning,” he said.

He said the by-law prohibiting public indecency was not relaxed and in his opinion, could not be relaxed as the Constitution prohibits such.

“No other law or government action can supersede the provisions­ of the Constitution,” he said.

Effanga added it was the responsibility of the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality to let the public and other stakeholders involved in the approval of the nudist beach, publicly know of the latest developments.

“It is the responsibility of the municipality to transparently let every one know that nude bathing is no longer allowed at the Mpenjati beach pending the Public Protector’s report,” he said.

Simon April, municipal spokesperson confirmed this.

“The application for the nude beach has been put in abeyance waiting for the Public Protector’s determination on the matter and as a result the municipality has decided that the signs be removed,” said April.

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