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Cele in Camps Bay beach row

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Police Minister Bheki Cele threatened to shut down a commercial that was being filmed on Camps Bay beach during a visit on Wednesday afternoon.

Police Minister Bheki Cele got into an altercation with City of Cape Town’s MMC for safety and security JP Smith over the shooting of an advert at a Cape Town beach. Picture: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus/Independent Media

CAPE TOWN – Police Minister Bheki Cele threatened to shut down a commercial that was being filmed on Camps Bay beach during a visit on Wednesday afternoon.

The production behind the commercial was about to shoot an advert of people at a beach party, but Cele ordered the police to monitor the closure of the production, as he visited nine Cape beaches to check for Covid-19 compliance.

He visited Strand, Macassar, Monwabisi, Mnandi, Strandfontein, Muizenberg, Camps Bay, Clifton and Big Bay.

Cele said he was happy to see people adhering to the Covid-19 regulations, but was disappointed by the City of Cape Town, who permitted the film production on the beach.

He said he would report back to the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) on what he found during his Cape Town beach visit.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said Cele instructed 16 SAPS officers to shut down a film shoot on Camps Bay Beach which has a legal permit from the City and was employing 75 people.

Smith said, “But they could never see officers patrolling gang-infested areas so the next time residents of the Cape Flats or the townships are wondering why you can’t find police maybe it’s because the national minister is busy deploying them to score political points.”

Smith said 30 minutes later there were 30 SAPS officers preventing filming from continuing.

“Apparently all crime in the Cape Flats and townships have been eliminated. The entourage walking around the beaches and visiting the sites with Cele includes 47 officers and at least four generals – how is that for the productive application of police resources?” Smith asked.

He said an urgent court interdict was currently being obtained to prevent the minister from allegedly illegally interfering with the film shoot.

Mayor Dan Plato said the Mother City has been given a reprieve by not being declared a hot spot area, and the city will do everything possible to ensure compliance with the restrictions, as well as the amended restrictions that have been announced.

Plato said while their beaches remained open, “it is up to our residents to conduct themselves responsibly as the national government will not hesitate to close our beaches too should they see non-compliance”.