Is Cape Town Serious about Tourism?


Every Thursday around lunch time¬†Daniel Pretorius (below) is to be found on St. George’s Mall in Central Cape Town offering free tastings of the wines on exhibition at the Pendock Wine Gallery @ Taj¬†located 3m behind him. As part of the weekly Earth Fair Food Market, Daniel stands outside Mint restaurant and most of the passing trade he services are foreign tourists, all over 18. ¬†Alas, the long arm of the law fingered his collar on Thursday and declared the practise to be “illegal.” ¬†So tastings have been suspended as Daniel has no desire to offer a tasting to “Pappa” in Pollsmoor.

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Huh? So it’s perfectly legal to sit down at Mint and drink a bottle of wine, smoke cigarettes and fat cigars and tell rude jokes about President Zuma who presented the ANC’s election platform next door, last week? But illegal to taste a¬†KWV¬†artwork (our current exhibition was curated by Richard Rowe and features some of the finest wines KWV have ever made).

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Don’t captains of the police have more pressing matters to investigate, like apprehending litter bugs? Or are their publicity mad managers lining up another show trial, a sequel to the Oscar Pistorius¬†exhibition and the eagerly awaited Shrien Dewani showdown in the Swartland? Pretorius, Pistorius, makes you think, doesn’t it?

Of course what’s on trial is not the right of consenting adults to taste wine in a controlled environment with available toilet facilities on hand, but rather the heavy handed reaction of officials who have a nasty track record of striping Nigerian asylum seekers naked in central Cape Town to assuage their own inadequacies and sexual frustrations, as they appeared to do earlier this month. In the year Cape Town is Design Capital of the World, fine art is being persecuted in St. George’s Mall. What a joke!