EFF slams cops, City of Cape Town for not arresting beach protesters

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  • The EFF has slammed the police and City of Cape Town for their handling of a protest on Muizenberg beach on Saturday.
  • The protest saw hundreds of people gathering there to protest lockdown regulations prohibiting beach use.
  • The party says officers did not arrest the protesters because they were white.

The EFF in the Western Cape has called for the suspension of police and law enforcement officers who "failed" to remove protesters at various beaches around Cape Town.

On Saturday, scores of people descended on Muizenberg beach to stage a protest, under the watch of law enforcement officers. They threatened to continue the peaceful protests until the government lifted the regulation which prohibits people from going to the beach.

Protest leader Clay Wilson told News24 he estimated that between 400 and 500 people had participated in the protest.

However, police estimates place the crowd at around 200 people.

However, the EFF has cried foul, saying police failed in their duty to arrest the protesters for disregarding the adjusted Level 3 lockdown regulations.

"On the part of the law enforcement officers and SAPS, this is a clear dereliction of duty for they failed to uphold the rule of law, thus allowed lawlessness to undermine established Covid-19 regulations.

"Based on the previous experiences, it is clear to us that if the majority of these protesters were black they would have been arrested and shot at with stun grenades and water cannons by the police and law enforcement, but because the majority are white, the police did nothing,” the party said in a statement.

People defied police order to not go onto the beac
People defied police order to not go onto the beach at Muizenberg Beach on January 30, 2021 in Cape Town, South Africa . As per lockdown regulations it is prohibited to be on the beach.

The EFF slammed the City of Cape Town and police for "standing by" while lockdown regulations were flouted.

"We hold the City of Cape Town responsible for ignoring regulations on beaches and SAPS for standing idly by while the Disaster Management Act and its regulations are being violated. This kind of selective application of law and arrests are responsible for the increased animosity against law enforcers," the statement said.

Western Cape police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa said Public Order Police members were deployed to Muizenberg beach after a group of about 200 people converged there.

"On arrival, the police observed the situation and issued a warning to the group. Considering the number of variables, police monitored the situation for some time from a distance. After careful consideration of the situation at hand, the unit members peacefully removed the crowd from the beach, with no incidents reported," Potelwa said on Saturday.

City of Cape Town Law Enforcement spokesperson Wayne Dyason said the police were the "leading agent" during the protest, and that City law enforcement officers had taken directions from them.

In a statement issued on Friday ahead of the protest, the City said it was aware of it and, while in support of the reopening of beaches, was compelled by law to ensure the regulations were adhered to.

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