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REMOVAL OF BLACK BEACH-GOERS SPARKS PUBLIC OUTRAGE IN S. AFRICA

CAPE TOWN, S. Africa, South African Environmental Affairs Minister, Nomvula Mokonyane, joined the chorus of condemnation, against the removal of blacks from a public beach in Cape Town.

The removal of black beach-goers is "discriminatory," the minister said.

Last Sunday evening, the Professional Protection Alternatives (PPA), a private security company, allegedly removed black beach-goers from a popular beach in Clifton, an upscale community in Cape Town. The PPA said, it did so, upon instructions from the City of Cape Town.

The incident made news headlines in South Africa, as it is reminiscent of the apartheid days, when black people were denied access to certain public places.

The private security guards reportedly were hired by the Clifton residents, who allegedly don't want black beach-goers to stay at the beach after sunset, for fear of crimes.

It is not acceptable for any security company to remove people from a public space, Nomvula said.

"We also have an obligation as South Africans, to make sure that when we use these public facilities, we maintain the mental standards and we do not also impose what is a preference of a minority or a certain group, because of their own proximity," the minister said.

South Africa belongs to all who live in it, she added.

South African lawmakers also added their voice to the public outcry over the incident.

On Friday, Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs condemned "this barbaric and racist act of the unlawful removal of beach-goers."

South Africa will never return to the apartheid years, where black people were restricted from gaining access to certain public spaces, committee chairperson, Phillemon Mapulane, said.

Ruling African National Congress (ANC) accused the security company of "giving itself the authority to ignore our Constitution" and illegally ordering citizens to leave the beach.

The City of Cape Town, in a statement, distanced itself from the actions of the private security company.

Source: Nam News Network