Monday, June 28, 2010

31 exotic dancers nabbed in raid

28 June 2010, 06:51

By Caryn Dolley

Nearly three dozen exotic dancers from Bulgaria, Russia and the Ukraine, arrested at a city club on suspicion of working in South Africa illegally, face deportation.

The Arabesque Review Bar in Burg Street in the city centre was raided two days ago.

Department of Home Affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said on day that 17 patrons were arrested for "illegal acts" but declined to describe what these were.

Seven South African patrons, five Turks, two Dutch, an Indian, a Chinese and a Briton were released from custody and were expected to appear in court this week.

Mamoepa said the 31 dancers' work permits were illegal. The issuing of the permits was being probed.

Cape Town police spokesman Ezra October on day confirmed the 31 dancers were still in custody after being arrested in an "immigration operation".

Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (Sweat) advocacy co-ordinator Vivienne Lalu said their detention made her "really angry".

"(Groups targeting sex workers) are supposed to rescue people forced into sex work yet these women find themselves arrested."

Neil Arendse, spokesperson for the city's specialised law enforcement services, said the vice squad had assisted metro police and Home Affairs members for the weekend's raid.

He said the vice squad had never targeted or arrested exotic dancers as they usually involved immigration matters dealt with by Home Affairs.

The bar's website describes "three levels of chic Moroccan elegance, dangling chandeliers, with plush leather sofas" where "upmarket businessmen (enjoy) premium cigars while in the private (sic) of gorgeous dancers" and "lowbrow behaviour" was not tolerated. "This is a nice place and, well, you should be nice too," it said. The "ladies... are friendly but not pushy" and aside from table dancing and a lapdance room, "high friction" dances were also offered.

On Sunday no one answered calls.

This article was originally published on page 5 of The Cape Times on June 28, 2010

The Star

Comments by Sonny

Jackie Selebi wanted to legalise prostitution, now exotic dancers get arrested?

Why does the SAPS not rather solve Lolly Jackson's murder instead of harass workers!

Illegal sex workers have been in SA for longer than time itself!

Not only Home Affairs needs a bit of "Ethnic Cleansing!"

We must rid SA of the role players here!

Who is really benefiting from organised Crime in SA?

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