The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in the Western Cape on Sunday called for the immediate suspension of law enforcement agencies that failed to enforce COVID-19 regulations at Saturday’s beach protests.
Hundreds of residents flocked to coastal areas in defiance of the imposed beach ban. No arrests were made during the act of civil disobedience. Under the adjusted lockdown level 3, beaches were closed as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
— Bra Hloni (@HonourableHloni) January 30, 2021
The City of Cape Town said while it supported the demonstrations, it called on residents to be mindful of the regulations. The EFF’s Wandile Kasibe said the City of Cape Town should be held responsible for supporting the demonstrations.
“Those people must be taken to task because they encourage lawlessness here. There are laws that must be followed by all. You can’t have rules for certain people and different rules for other people.”
EFF WC condemns the protests to open the beaches when COVID-19 cases are still on the rise in the province. We also condemn law enforcement officers who failed to enforce COVID-19 regulations. If the majority these protesters were black they would have been arrested and shot at. pic.twitter.com/5PCBPAnAiU
— EFF_Western Cape (@EFFWesternCape_) January 30, 2021
Demonstrators were set to return to Cape Town’s coastal areas to continue to protest on Sunday. They said with COVID-19 cases declining in the province, the beaches should be reopened to the public.
At the same time, some demonstrators against South Africa’s contentious beach ban say the protest also concerned mental health and restoring the economy.
One of the protest organisers, Clay Wilson, said the demonstrations go beyond just enjoying the beach. “Never mind just opening up the economy – it’s also the mental health aspect of this. It’s something that has been overlooked, and it’s very important because people are hurting.”