Long Street businesses caught in an ‘extortion racket’ according to bar owner

Following the murder of Beerhouse bouncer Joe Louis Kanyona last weekend, concerns around safety on Long Street have been revived - with shocking claims emerging from business owners there.

Alleged security extortion racket

John Davidson, the owner of Bob’s Bar on Long Street, has spoken out claiming that the nightclubs along the stretch of road are forced to pay a security fee to a local company, all against their will.

Davidson says that if he or any other business on Long Street refuses to pay the fee, their bars and staffers come under threat.

There is a huge problem and it has been there for a number of years. We’ve been on Long Street for five years and have had major issues with security. Right now it’s Moroccans, it has been for a while. I’ve been able to deal with them by paying a monthly security fee. It keeps my staff and my customers safe.

John Davidson, the owner of Bob’s Bar

Popular bar, Beer House, on Long Street - where a doorman was stabbed to death on 20 June 2015. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

Beerhouse murder could be linked

33-year-old Congolese bouncer, Joe Louis Kazadi Kanyona, was stabbed to death by a group of men in front of Beerhouse on Saturday night. While the exact motive remains unclear, Davidson suspects that the man’s killing could connected to a security extortion racket.

They give you an invoice and we pay every month, and of course I object to it... But they make you pay. I didn't pay four years ago and I had my windows put through... The murder of the bouncer is too much of a coincidence for it not to be related.

John Davidson, the owner of Bob’s Bar

Davidson says that the authorities are not doing enough to fight this matter and believes that permanent uniformed police deployment is the only way to secure the neighbourhood.

An invoice from ‘Lifestyle and Entertainment Security Service’, that Bob’s Bar owner John Davidson claims he receives on a monthly basis.

Stakeholders say claims must be brought forward to SAPS

Mo Hendricks, security manager of the Central City Improvement District (CCID) responded to the allegations put forward by the bar owner.

Hendricks says that he is surprised that Davidson claims CCID is not doing anything about safety on Long Street. When asked whether he was aware of the extortion racket, Hendricks argued that it was not in the jurisdiction of the CCID. He says that he has alerted the relevant agencies.

He hadn’t reported anything further to us, so nobody knew what was going down. We are aware of certain concerns, but we are not in a position to discuss issues like that and have no authorisation to investigate.

Mo Hendricks, security manager of the CCID

JP Smith, The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, says that he asked for an increased presence following the murder on Saturday and that the South African Police Services (SAPS) is the exclusive role player in the investigation.

That’s absolute nonsense. Metro police patrol and work in the area continuously. The media have a distorted interest in Long Street. But that doesn't mean we must take police away from other hot-spots when there is an incident there.

JP Smith, MayCo Member for Safety and Security

Western Cape acting provincial police commissioner, Jeremy Vearey says that he resents Davidson’s remarks about police efforts (or lack thereof).

Vearey advised that business owners had not laid reports of the extortion and that the alleged racketeering activities need to be investigated further. He says that the bar owners must come forward with evidence and a statement to provide legal weight to the claims.

#SaveLongStreet

Capetonians have taken to social media to start a conversation about the need to ‘Save Long Street’.

Also read the related article on the EWN website.

Listen to the full conversation on CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies:

Read More
Emasi children's home gifted with R120 000 in Dis-Chem goods

Emasi children's home gifted with R120 000 in Dis-Chem goods

CapeTalk, in partnership with the Dis-Chem Foundation, has donated R120 000 to Emasithandane in the township of Nyanga East.

SABC bans footage of violent protests, dismisses propaganda claims

SABC bans footage of violent protests, dismisses propaganda claims

The broadcaster announced that it will no longer show footage of the burning of public institutions in any of its bulletins.

Hamba Safe app lets groups gather safely in Cape Town's outdoor spaces

Hamba Safe app lets groups gather safely in Cape Town's outdoor spaces

The Hamba Safe app allows vulnerable groups to reclaim public spaces and arrange group activities. It launches in under five days.

Photographer shows Cape Town's inequality on the ground with aerial shots

Photographer shows Cape Town's inequality on the ground with aerial shots

Cape Town-based photographer Johnny Miller has framed inequality in a series of aerial images showing the reality of rich vs poor.

CapeTalk hosts silent gathering to place the #SpotlightOnRape

CapeTalk hosts silent gathering to place the #SpotlightOnRape

CapeTalk invites listeners to come together and take a stand against sexual abuse and violence in the #SpotlightOnRape campaign.

Mpho Tutu-Van Furth on gay marriage after calling it quits with Anglican Church

Mpho Tutu-Van Furth on gay marriage after calling it quits with Anglican Church

Mpho Tutu-Van Furth has left the clergy after the South African Anglican Church intended to have her license revoked.

Popular articles
Mpho Tutu-Van Furth on gay marriage after calling it quits with Anglican Church

Mpho Tutu-Van Furth on gay marriage after calling it quits with Anglican Church

Mpho Tutu-Van Furth has left the clergy after the South African Anglican Church intended to have her license revoked.

Truworths CEO admits to 'making an error' with racey Mother's Day ad

Truworths CEO admits to 'making an error' with racey Mother's Day ad

"I certainly think that glamorous lingerie on Mother's Day is not appropriate", says Truworths CEO Michael Mark.

Cape woman's 'horrific' experience sheds light on tricky train commute

Cape woman's 'horrific' experience sheds light on tricky train commute

Joy says she never knows what's lurking in the distance as she crosses a dark train subway on the way to her Athlone home at night.

Money Matters: Why it is so difficult for young people to buy property

Money Matters: Why it is so difficult for young people to buy property

It is very difficult for young people for young people to buy property in South Africa. Igshaan Higgins describes the reasons behind this.

'South Africa is among the most highly taxed countries in the world'

'South Africa is among the most highly taxed countries in the world'

Today (25 May) is Tax Freedom Day – the day of the year on which our money becomes ours rather than that of the government.