Gay activist attacked in Port Elizabeth tavern

Cape Town man says police refused to open docket

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Photo of gay activist Khaya Jacobs.
Gay activist Khaya Jacobs says he was assaulted and thrown out of a Port Elizabeth tavern. Photo by Joseph Chirume.

A well-known Cape Town gay activist says he was attacked and thrown out of a night club on 21 January in Port Elizabeth

He now plans to sue the owner of the club for alleged discrimination against gay people. He says he will also sue the local police for refusing to open a docket at the police station.

Khaya Jacobs, 23, from Delft, was visiting Coke’s tavern in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth with relatives. He was Miss Gay Western Cape, 2015.

“We were enjoying our drinks when the cashier announced that they were closing down for the night. It was around midnight.I had just bought two six packs of drinks to host my cousins, Mandisa Gololo and Lwazi Qambela, who had just joined us.”

Jacobs said the misunderstanding arose when he asked the cashier to refund them the money for the beer he had just bought. He said they could not walk home holding alcohol as the police could arrest them for drinking in public.

“As I was returning to the table to tell my cousins that the cashier did not want to refund me, the club bouncer, Sibusiso, called me and said they did not refund customers. When I asked him for the reason he told me that gays were not good people. He started assaulting me. He shouted that gays were a problem and should be beaten up. He held me by the collar and choked me. I passed out for more than ten minutes

“When I regained consciousness, there were many people around me. Sibusiso said gays and lesbians were causing problems for the entire festive season. He chased us away.”

Jacobs said officers at the Motherwell police station had refused to open a docket for him. 

“The officers were talking among themselves when we arrived. The moment I told them that I was beaten at Coke’s tavern, they started laughing at us. They said I should first obtain a letter from a doctor to prove what I was saying.”

Sibiusiso Mbofana, who is the head of security at Coke’s tavern, disputes Jacobs’ version. “That guy is arrogant. He started the fracas by insisting on a refund. He was confrontational and verbally abusive. I manhandled him in an attempt to eject him out of the club. He even hit me below my right eyebrow,” Mbofana said, showing his bruised eyebrow.

“We have a huge gay and lesbian clientele who come to drink and braai here.”

Coke’s tavern general manager Podgy Moodley said: “I am not aware of the event, but we do not segregate against race.gender or colour. We entertain people of all origins. The problem is that some patrons come here with a superior mind and tend to undermine our workers and at times they also undermine other patrons. I will look into the case and resolve it peacefully.”

Several attempts by telephone and text message to get comment from Motherwell police spokesperson Captain Andre Beegte were unsuccessful.

TOPICS:  Homophobia Human Rights

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