Irish pub: No stamp, no entry

2012-02-12 10:01
Lucas Ledwaba
While on holiday in Cape Town in December, Sinazo Kali (29) and a friend went to Long Street, the pumping heart of the city centre’s nightlife, in search of fun and a few drinks.

Kali, who works in communications at the National Treasury in Pretoria, heard music pouring from The Dubliner Irish pub. So in they went.
The pair spent about an hour at the bar and when Kali’s friend wanted to go home, she gave her a lift and returned to The Dubliner. But something had changed.

“This time I was refused entry and asked to show a stamp,” she says.

“I explained that I had been in the pub 10 minutes ago and that I was not stamped,” Kali told City Press.
“However, the bouncer insisted that I give him R20, which I did, but when I asked for the stamp he said he didn’t have one. That’s when I knew something was not right. I asked for my money back. He gave it back and chased me away. I saw other people going in without stamps or paying to go in and out. When I asked, he told me they were members. When I asked how I could become a member, he ignored me.”

On January 2, Kali went back to the pub – this time to meet her white boyfriend, Pim Molmans, who was already inside. She was again refused entry.

“I was asked for a VIP card. When my boyfriend came out and enquired about the VIP card, which he didn’t have and none of his friends or anyone else in the pub had, the bouncer simply dragged us away and bragged that he would never let us in again. It was so embarrassing.”

Kali reported the matter to the SA Human Rights Commission, where an investigation is pending. The Dubliner’s management also wrote to her, promising to follow up.

“I believe this is about keeping black people away. And I think the problem is that people in Cape Town seem to have accepted this,” she said.