Navigaytion nightclub in Cape Town has accused the police of using excessive force, homophobia and brutally beating a patron, a gay Saudi prince.
According to a message posted by Ari Nitzan from Navigaytion on the club’s Facebook group page, on the night of Friday 16 September, police barged into the club demanding that it close its doors and ordering patrons to leave.
The prince, who has remained unnamed but who was described by Nitzan as a “loyal regular customer”, was sitting at the bar. He was approached by apparently rude plain-clothes police who demanded that he leave. When the prince replied that he wanted to finish his drink he was allegedly slapped off his chair by an officer.
According to Nitzan, “another five policeman jumped in beating him up quite badly. Screaming and shouting took place. He was handcuffed and thrown into the back of the police van”.
Nitzan alleges that on the way to the police station the prince “was beaten up some more”.
He added: “If that wasn’t enough, once in the cell at the police station, a Muslim policeman came to him and asked him if he is Muslim and if he is gay, to which he replied yes. He was beaten up some more.”
The prince was released later that day after paying a R100 “admission of guilt” fine and is now being treated for a blown eardrum.
Nitzan claims that when the police were approached, they had no record of the case or the “admission of guilt” fine.
“Clearly this is a case of homophobia and police brutality. It’s disgusting to think that in this day and age, homosexuals can be treated like this and the police get away with it,” said Nitzan. “We don’t cause trouble, all we want is to have a good time and to be left alone.”
The matter has been referred to the DA’s Shadow Minister of Police, MP Dianne Kohler Barnard.
Attempts to contact Nitzan and a police spokesperson at the time of publication were unsuccessful, but Mambaonline will continue to pursue the matter.