"Then five cops walked down to the Point and chased everyone out of the water. Merry Christmas!"
Wild times in South Africa if examining or riding waves is your game.
At Jeffreys Bay, a man was arrested for checking the surf with his fourteen-year-old son and, on the beach, two surfers were busted, had their boards confiscated and were threatened with jail time.
“Then five cops walked down to the Point and chased everyone out of the water. Merry Christmas,” says BeachGrit reader Garth Robinson, owner of j-bay.com.
The man arrested for surf checking is Johan Rossouw, Robinson’s neighbour .
“He was just looking at the surf while sitting on a neck (bench) in the car park at Point beach J-Bay, probably the most consistent rideable wave in South Africa,” says Robinson. “They issued him with two fines. He reported the situation to the Internal Investigations Unit of the South African Police Services (the cops didn’t realise they were arresting a retired police man). He has handed in his statements and and filled out J88 forms to go along with his photos of bruising sustained when being forced into the cop van in front of his kids… the cops are on an almighty power trip here at the moment. They drove in fully armed and in bulletproof riot gear to chase tourists and locals as if they are criminals while they are abiding by the law.
“The residents of Jeffreys Bay are outraged at what has taken place in our once tranquil surfing village, and we want to world to know about how the cops have zero clue as to how to enforce the draconian laws we have found ourselves under here.
“Due to our beaches and parks being closed we are forced into closed spaces like shops, malls and made to be in closer contact with others, whereas beaches and the sea offers us safe space to exercise and avoid infection. This country is using the State of Emergency as a cover to make South Africa just another socialist jackboot dictatorship.”
A marked turnaround, of course, from nine months ago when a vacationing American doctor ignored lockdown and enjoyed epic Supers solo thereby provoking an outpouring of hate from locals.
The only thing keeping this guy safe was social distancing, wrote our correspondent.
“I got my ass handed to me through WhatsApp and through the community,” said Joseph Hardeman.