The ANC in the Western Cape committed to fighting racial profiling and differential policing following law enforcement’s response to Saturday’s beach protests.
Hundreds of residents along the False Bay coastline, Camps Bay, and Plettenberg Bay flocked to the shores in defiance of the imposed beach ban.
They said with COVID-19 cases declining in the province, the shores should be reopened to the public. Government closed beaches to prevent the spread of COVID-19 under alert level 3 lockdown.
The City of Cape Town said while it supports the demonstrations, it called on residents to be mindful of the regulations. No arrests were made during the act of civil disobedience.
The ANC’s Cameron Dugmore said officials seem to apply different standards when responding to demonstrations in the country. “There appear to be different standards. If mainly black people protest for land there’s a response from the city and law enforcement but in this case, where white people were protesting, a different standard seems to apply.”
Meanwhile, the EFF also issued a statement which read: “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 canons by the police and law enforcement, but because the majority are white the police did nothing.”
South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa said that officers attending to the protest in Muizenberg had issued a warning to the group of 200 protesters, and said that no incidents had warranted arrests.
“On arrival, the police observed the situation and issued a warning to the group,” she said. Taking into account a 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.”
She said that “except for a few people who showed up on Camps Bay beach” on Saturday in a separate set of incidents, no further law-breaking was reported elsewhere in Cape Town. “Police continue to keep an eye on public spaces including beaches.”