Strip club case sent to Human Rights Commission

2012-02-03 15:51

Cape Town - The Western Cape High Court on Friday referred a case involving the right of Mavericks strip club in Cape Town to employ "exotic dancers" to the Human Rights Commission.

Judge Siraj Desai said in his judgment the conditions under which foreign dancers were procured, housed, and expected to work made them "susceptible to exploitation".

"The so-called exotic dancers come to this country having concluded a flimsy one-sided contract," he said.

"They are guaranteed nothing. They have to share a room for which they pay a rent on a weekly basis. They are not paid at all and given no benefits whatsoever.

"I shall refer this matter to the Human Rights Commission for it to investigate whether the human rights of the dancers are being infringed and, if so, what steps can be taken to alleviate their plight."

Mavericks had held two corporate permits which were issued in its favour by the department of home affairs in 2005 and 2006. The permits entitled the club to employ 200 foreign workers as exotic dancers.

In October last year, however, the department withdrew the permits, arguing that Mavericks was not complying with the Immigration Act.

The director general of the department issued a directive that the replacement of certificates issued under the corporate permits should also be refused.

Ongoing unlawful conduct

Mavericks sought an order suspending the department's decisions until the final application for review of the decision had been heard.

The club argued that the director general of the department had acted in "flagrant breach of the law and its obligations".

Exotic dancers were employees of Mavericks and were in compliance with the Immigration Act, it argued.

Desai said in his judgment that there appeared to have been good and sufficient cause to withdraw the permits by the department.

"Accordingly there is no prospect that Mavericks will be able to set aside the DG's decision in the intended review," he said.

The balance of convenience weighed heavily against Mavericks in the case.

"The reasons for the withdrawal of the corporate permits are essentially that Mavericks has failed to comply with the act, the immigration regulations, and the corporate worker authorisation certificates.

"It should not be allowed to continue operating as if the permits have not been withdrawn."

Desai added that Mavericks has "demonstrated ongoing unlawful conduct and currently employ several persons illegally".

The application by Mavericks was dismissed with costs.

  • Gerhard - 2012-02-03 16:35

    Right, so apparently they are not paid at all but they rent a room on a weekly basis? So where does the money come from? I guess it has something to do with them taking their clothes off.

  • Kala - 2012-02-03 16:47

    I used to be pretty friendly with a couple of strippers many years ago and I was told by them that they were earning up to R24 000.00 per month. I nearly had a sex change.

      Heiku - 2012-02-03 17:16

      I'd say 70% of that 24k is spent on cocaine to get high enough to forget about what they have become. Or maybe I'm just sour cause I don't have tits. WE WILL NEVER KNOW

      lukas.delport - 2012-02-03 18:56

      Those are usually locally employer strippers. Those "imported" on these flimsy agreements usually get NADA and are basically slaves as they have their passports "kept" for them by the club. Don't kid yourself ... the sex slave trade is alive and well and living in South Africa too.

      aardvarkie - 2012-02-06 08:17

      From what I heard (through a friend who dated a stripper from the Ukraine) is that their "rent" is something like R20 000 a month - they have to "dance it off" and whatever is left after the R20k is theirs to keep. That's why the girls are so "pushy" to give lap-dances. They can earn over R100k a month - do the math - 20 lapdances maximum at approx R400 = R8000 a night x 6 nights a week = R48000 a week. Of course it will vary, but you get the idea.

      Danielle Human - 2012-02-14 12:42

      I was a dancer at Mavericks and the money that these girls see is waay more than that. The unfortunate thing is that this club illegally fines the girls for coming late, not sexy enough attire, losing and gaining weight and an "improper stage show"...last time I checked, you can't do this to an independant contracter (which is essentially what we dancers are since we determine when and where we work and what salary we receive monthly)...also the girls pay about R3000 weekly (the cheapest rate) if they stay in the accommodation that is shared with two other girls and one bathroom that is shared amoungst 15 girls on a daily basis. I've seen these living conditions and been where these girls are! It's unfortunate that the ones testifiying on this clubs behalf would rather stay in these slave conditions then go back to where they come from...because fron the stories I've heard, its WAY worse.

      Danielle Human - 2012-02-14 12:50

      @Heiki: I have small tits and made tons of money. ;) @that other guy: lapdances are R200...touch dances are R1000 but we get R800...not very many people have money to spend like that, so the girls average about R3000 on a good night. Believe me, that's why I don't work there any longer. I'm a stripper for a reason. And to make peanuts isn't one of them.

  • John - 2012-02-03 18:47

    Cool....What are we going to do now? Democratic change is required. Sugestion from my side is to rename 'Mavericks' to 'Big Mamma House' ... I was wondering why 'Khayelitsha' celebrated last month so wild.

  • edward.d.beesley - 2012-02-05 16:15

    If you're not being paid then how can you be an employee? A slave, more like it, and I suspect that things are going to get pretty warm for the "gentleman's" club, Mavericks.

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