Durban – The Hanks Olde Irish Pub have turned to a respected and experienced criminal defence attorney amid racism allegations at their establishment.
The owners have also hit back at allegations that they refused to allow black patrons into their establishment.
The owners of the popular Cape Town watering hole believe that they will be vindicated once the law has taken its course.
They have turned to respected and experienced criminal defence attorney, William Booth, as it fights to regain its status on the Cape Town entertainment scene.
In a media statement issued on Tuesday, Hanks Olde Irish said its staff and owners have received direct threats of intimidation, violence, damage to persons and property by individuals who have stated in the media that they will be participating in a protest.
At the weekend, a video showing a man seemingly calling out pub staff on their alleged racist policies went viral on social media.
In the video, the victim’s friend tells management, an older white man, that discriminating in South Africa is a crime.
The establishment claimed that people have also tried to incite others to perpetrate acts of violence and damage to property against Hanks Olde Irish, the owners and its staff.
“Given that the owners and staff have already been victims of physical assault by the primary individual in the publicised video making these allegations, for which charges have been laid, and after consultation with the South African police, and our attorney William Booth, it has been deemed in the best interests of the safety and security of our staff and that of neighbouring businesses that we not open Hank’s Olde Irish today.
“The owners of Hanks Olde Irish wish to once more state categorically that in the past 30 years of operating businesses in Cape Town, as well as, a registered NPO, we as the owners, have never – nor have we have ever instructed our staff – to discriminate on any basis whatsoever, whether that be gender, sexual orientation or race.
“We also want to place on record that we are extremely concerned for the well-being and safety of our staff involved, therefore we will not be commenting any further while we continue to conduct the required internal disciplinary process with regard to these serious allegations, and while the police conduct their criminal investigation into the case of assault opened against the individual making accusations in the video, on the owners of Hanks.
“Please allow the due processes to take their course. We are confident that the facts will clear us of all these spurious, offensive and damaging claims,” the statement read.
Earlier on Tuesday, the EFF marched to the pub. The EFF in the Western Cape said it had written to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) regarding the racist incident calling on it to investigate.