City of Cape Town 1, Bheki Cele 0: Out-of-court settlement allows film crew to work on Camps Bay beach

Cape Town officials reached an out-of-court settlement with police minister Bheki Cele on Friday over filming on Camps Bay beach.
Image: Gallo Images/Darren Stewart

Two days after police minister Bheki Cele clashed with Cape Town officials and shut down a film crew on Camps Bay beach, the council claimed victory after an out-of-court settlement was reached.

During a walkabout on Wednesday, Cele came across the crew’s work. He ordered that they immediately stop working, saying additional activities on beaches were prohibited by the latest Covid-19 disaster management act regulations. This was despite officials telling the minister permits had been obtained for the work.

eNCA filmed the spot check.

“There are no extra activities on the beach, except beachgoers doing their things,” said Cele.

“If you say it’s the city who gave you permission for this, I’ll have to speak to the city because there should be no social activity on the beach.”

In a later exchange with the city’s mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith, Cele said allowing the activity was a “slight in the face of the regulations” President Cyril Ramaphosa had announced two days earlier.

Smith argued that the shoot was within the parameters of the laws, and that the city had issued a permit and was ensuring Covid-19 compliance. Cele, however, wouldn’t budge.

As a result, the city of Cape Town went to court, and on Friday claimed victory in the matter.

“The city has prevailed against minister Cele,” Smith said.

“The out-of-court settlement prohibits the police from interfering with film shoots when the city has issued a permit.”

He described the settlement as an “important victory for federalism and the rights of local government when it is subjected to arbitrary and unlawful interference by national government office bearers”.

To the film industry, he said: “Our doors are open for business.”

TimesLIVE has reached out to Cele’s office for comment on the settlement. This story will be updated.