South Africa
City of Cape Town to lay charges against Police over Clifton Beach incident

The City of Cape Town is laying charges against the senior SAPS member(s) who prevented Metro Law Enforcement from enforcing the City by-laws and charges of animal cruelty will also be laid against those involved in the slaughter of the sheep on Clifton Beach.

“I am equally disgusted and angered by the cruel killing of an animal for political purposes. I tried very hard to ensure that City Law Enforcement would stop this act of cruelty and vulgar political gimmick,” said Alderman JP Smith, the Mayoral Committee Member: Safety and Security.

“However, during public order policing situations, SAPS assume command over all policing staff on the scene. When I enquired from Law Enforcement staff why they had failed to uphold the by-laws, they explained that the sheep was carried in across the rocks from an adjacent beach and thus not spotted by them being brought down the stairs.

Also, it appeared that the sheep was already dead.

When the staff moved towards the crowd surrounding the sheep, they discovered that the sheep was still alive (it appeared to have been wounded before, which speaks to the cruelty to animals charge) but they could not recover the sheep from the crowd.

I am informed that at that stage the matter was raised with General Jeremy Veary and other senior SAPS members who were on scene who then refused to allow the Law Enforcement staff to enforce the City by-laws claiming it would provoke violence from the crowd and that “it was their constitutional right”.

I believe that the senior SAPS official did not have the power to undermine City by-laws and prevent them from being implemented and should have acted to enforce the by-laws which they are legally obliged to do.

I am also informed that an animal rights activist was assaulted (struck in the face) by one of the protestors and that when she complained to SAPS they ignored her. I hope she will be filing charges”, said Smith.

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