Cops crackdown on CBD club

The Cape Town Central police closed down a club in Green Street in the early hours of Sunday morning for illegally trading after hours, and arrested two men, one for the assault of a police officer.

According to a source who asked not to be identified, police had stopped by the club at around 8am, but when the bouncers did not want to let them in, the officers forced entry and found a lot of people inside the club.

Cape Town Central police spokesperson, Captain Ezra October, said the club had been closed down because they had continued to operate beyond their allowed trading hours.

“The club’s liquor licence stipulates that they trade till 2am, and at 2.30am all patrons should have left, and staff remain for closure. However, there were clearly patrons inside the club on Sunday morning.”

He said one of the concerns the police faced were that patrons from the clubs on Long Street, which close on time, move to All Nations because they trade until the early hours of the morning.

The club, however, has since re-opened, as the police only have the authority to shut down a club for 24 hours, said Captain October.

However, All Nations seems to be a repeat offender when it comes to illegally trading after 2am as well as other contraventions of their trading licence, as police and Law Enforcement have previously issued fines to the managers of the establishment.

Captain October told the CapeTowner that police have so far issued four fines for non-compliance, while the City’s law enforcement unit has also issued warnings in terms of the City’s by-laws.

The City’s executive director for safety and security, Richard Bosman, said notices had been issued to the owners of All Nations for not having a business licence, contravention of stipulated trading hours, and violations of the community fire safety by-law.

“The Liquor Enforcement Unit has been dealing with this premises since 2015. Complaints have included noise disturbances and violating stipulated trading hours,” he said, adding, however, that law enforcement had not been involved in the closure of the club on Sunday.

Captain October said all the information would be compiled into a report and submitted to the Western Cape Liquor Authority, where the Liquor Licensing Tribunal could revoke the liquor licence, or issue fines of up to R100 000 for the offences.

Rumours about drug trafficking and prostitution inside the club could not be confirmed, as Captain October said that there had been no evidence to prove this, and no one at the club had thus far been arrested for drug-related offences.

“However, we cannot rule out the fact that the club is in the hub of where we used to have a huge problem with drugs at Senator Park. This can only be determined during future operations.”

When CapeTowner called the contact number for the club, which was listed online, we got through to a man who confirmed he was the manager of the club, but refused to be named in the paper.

He said on the morning in question, the club had been hosting a private party, adding that the music had already been turned off and the bar closed. “People were just sitting inside and chilling when the police came The club was already closed, and no alcohol was being served.”

He said while the police were outside the club, he had been called to the door to talk to them. “The next thing the police broke down the door and arrested people inside the club.”

He also denied trading after 2am. “Police come here all the time. They know we close on time. Our business licence, however, it is still pending”

He also denied allegations that drugs were sold inside the club, and said patrons were searched before they entered.

He also claimed the raid had been racially motivated. “If it were a white-owned club, they would never do this,” he said.

The spokesperson for the Western Cape Liquor Authority, Philip Prinsloo, said they were unaware of the complaints lodged against All Nations.

“If the SAPS or Law Enforcement will provide us with a report, we can take further action after reviewing the report.”

He added that neither the Liquor Authority nor the police have the authority to close down an establishment for longer than 24 hours.

“We need to give the business a fair chance to present their case. We also have to gather evidence to bring the establishment before the Liquor Tribunal, and they will be fined, or their liquor licence revoked. The evidence will come from a report from SAPS, complaints from a community and inspections from the Western Cape Liquor Tribunal.”

Captain October urged all club owners to adhere to the allowed time frames on their liquor licences as it can be revoked upon renewal of the licence.

The City Central Improvement District declined to comment on the matter, as the club is private property and the CCID only operates in the public spaces of the CBD.