Mavericks strip club, popular with tourists, well-off locals and international sportsmen, may have to close as it faces having most of its exotic dancers- the majority of whom are foreign – deported.
The strip club is also being slammed for erecting ‘sexist’ billboards around the city.
On the Maverick’s website the club states that it has “welcomed dozens of new dancers recently from as far as Finland, Italy, Slovakia, Colombia, Brazil, Thailand and of course South Africa.”
But the club has been fighting a High Court battle against the Department of Home Affairs for the past week following the department’s decision to revoke the club’s corporate permits on October 7, which allowed it to employ up to 200 foreign dancers.
Senior Counsel for Home Affairs, Anton Schippers, said the club was in breach of a number of regulations, including failure to comply with its legal obligation to ensure its employees departed from the country once their work permits expired.
Last week, the department’s legal counsel said 23 of the clubs dancers were working illegally. Eighteen of the 23 workers have been charged.
Mavericks has taken the department to court to secure an interdict to prevent it’s dancers being sent back to their countries of origin, arguing that should its permits be revoked and the dancers deported, it would be forced to shut down.
Schippers argued that in 66 cases, Mavericks failed to notify the department that its dancers had left its employ. Schippers said one of the clubs former employers had been living in the country illegally for a few years following the expiration of her work permit.
He also said the club’s paper work was not in order as it failed to keep work related records of its employees. Schippers said initially Mavericks indicated the 143 certificates were missing but the club now claimed the certificates had been lost.
“One of the conditions of the corporate worker permit is that the records must be placed in safekeeping,” said Schippers.
He said Mavericks also failed to provide an accommodation register of its employees. It also emerged in court that there was no evidence on the affidavit that the dancers had paid tax.
There was thus “no merit” in the club’s application, said Schippers.
While the hearings were on Monday postponed until December 1, the club also has a complaint laid against it at the Advertising Standards Authority by the Family Planning Institute (FPI) regarding their billboards on the N1 and around the city bowl.
FPI Director, Errol Naidoo said the billboards, which feature a half naked woman posing next to slogans of alibis such as ‘I was working late’, ‘the care broke down’ and ‘we were sailing’, are “pornographic” and degrading to women.
Naidoo said the billboard “adds fuel” to crimes such as rape and sexual abuse and the FPI had contacted the city to have it taken down.
City of Cape Town Media Manager Kylie Hatton said the city had taken action against the companies involved in erecting the signs as they had been erected illegally without the city’s permission.
Lesego Mohlala at the ASA said they had received close to 100 complaints about the billboards. A ruling has not yet been made. — Fadela Slamdien