The Cape Argus has published a confusing article about all manner of alleged goings-on involving rent boys, paedophiles and masturbating men on Strand beach, about 50 km southeast of Cape Town.
A source complained to Mambaonline that the article was shoddy journalism, subtly linked homosexuality to sexual perversion, and could amount to scare-mongering.
In the article published online on Wednesday, the newspaper said that it had been approached by four sources who are outraged by a “blatant” male prostitution ring on the beach, operating between the Strand Surf Lifesaving Club and the miniature-golf course.
It added that some of the ring’s members are alleged by have sexually harassed children. One source said: “My 13-year-old son told me he had been approached by a man on the beach.”
Why male prostitutes would approach children as potential clients is not explained; suggesting that sex workers and paedophiles are being seen as one and the same.
The Argus also reported that there have been “many cases” of men flagrantly masturbating in front of children on the beach.
“There are dreadful things going down at Strand beachfront, in the toilets and bushes, and we want your help to warn people and expose the guys behind it,” another source said.
At no point were police sources or experts quoted in the article. The newspaper failed to clarify the issue and the article could possibly promote hysteria among the local community, argued Mambaonline’s source, who wished to remain unnamed.
The Argus said that a local lifesaving club and the neighbourhood watch are monitoring the beach and are in contact with the SAPS in an attempt to curb “this growing trend”. Concerned members of the public were also urged to contact the Strand police station
Read the article here and tell us what you think.