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Race row erupts after black visitors 'cleared' from beach

RACE ROW: Clifton beach, Cape Town

PROTESTS have taken place at a South African beach after a local security firm, PPA, allegedly turned away black beachgoers.

According to reports, security guards working on Clifton beach in Cape Town allegedly told black citizens to leave the site two days before Christmas in a bid to keep "criminals" away from the tourists who visit each year.

In response, a group of protesters took to the beach, where they slaughtered a sheep in a ritual supposed to ward off racism, while others sang and burned incense, The Telegraph reports.

While many have called the treatment of the black bathers as a matter of racism, the mayor of Cape Town has denied that the security firm was only asking black residents to leave the beach and that it "did not single out any race groups."

He added that they will be looking into the claims, stating: “Looking at the public outcry around the Clifton beach issue, I feel it’s appropriate for the City of Cape Town to ask PSIRA, the governing body over all private security entities in South Africa, just to give the situation a look.”

However, activist Chumani Maxwele remains strong in his beliefs that the guards had targeted black people on the beach. “These private security guards are hired by the Clifton (residents), they are actually briefed to not allow black people who appear to look like they are from the townships or criminals onto the beach,” he told News24.

The city of Cape Town are continuing to investigate the claims and has urged persons who felt threatened or intimidated by the security guards to call its emergency hotline or report to the police.

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