WATCH: Clifton beach controversy - Police, Public Protector asked to investigate PPA Security as clashes break out

2018-12-28 22:19
Security officers on the beach. (Supplied by PPA)

Security officers on the beach. (Supplied by PPA)

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South Africa First Forum laid fraud charges against a private security company at the centre of the controversy relating to Clifton beach that reached fever pitch when local residents clashed with protesters on Friday evening.

The charges were laid against PPA Security at the Cape Town central police station.

This follows reports suggesting that officials from the security firm illegally removed ordinary citizens from Clifton's Fourth Beach on the evening of December 23.

The forum's convener, advocate Rod Solomons, said it had laid a charge of fraud against the company and its owner because PPA allegedly indicated that it acted under the authority of the City of Cape Town.

READ: No drinking on Cape Town beaches, more than 4 000 bottles of alcohol confiscated

The City, however, on Friday issued a statement distancing itself from PPA. It said that it had not given any private company authority to enforce by-laws.

"We have written to the private security regulatory authority (PSIRA), to investigate the conduct of PPA. If anything untoward is to be discovered, [PPA] will have to be sanctioned and, if necessary, lose its operating licence," said Solomons.

Solomons said that his organisation, which is a collective of locals who say they are committed to changing the future for the better for all citizens, had also written to Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to investigate the matter to determine "who gave a private security company the authority to perform a security function on a public beach".

"We do this in order to find the whole truth and, if necessary, ensure that the relevant people be held accountable and there [are] consequences for any wrongdoing."

More charges

Meanwhile, Western Cape police confirmed on Thursday that they were investigating a security company on three charges of assault. They did not name the security company. 

Two beach vendors and an acquaintance of a female restaurant employee opened assault cases against the private security personnel at the beach.

READ MORE: Security company stops beach patrols, as #ReclaimClifton protest planned

The police, however, rejected claims that the security company was asked to intervene following two rape incidents.

"Only one incident of an attempt to sexually violate a 15 year old girl is known, but the victim and the family has opted not to lay charges against the suspect who is known to them," said spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa.

She also disputed allegations of unruly behaviour by beachgoers.

"The South African Police Service continues with patrols and searches across the City's  beaches in anticipation of scores of people converging on these public spaces as part of the holiday period," Potelwa said.

Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, called for an investigation into PPA's operations at the beach.

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs said it was appalled by reports of the incident. 

"We will definitely summon the City of Cape Town and the Professional Protection Alternatives (PPA) Security company or any other party that might have been involved in this unfortunate incident to appear before the committee in the new year as soon as Parliament resumes its business," chairperson of the committee, Phillemon Mapulane said in a statement. 

On Friday evening, several people had gathered at the beach as part of the #ReclaimClifton protest, arranged by the Black People's National Crisis Committee.

Local residents clashed with protesters where a sheep was slaughtered.

*Note: Audio in Tweet contains vulgar language

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