Cape Town Club members in furious wrangle.
When the chairman of the Cape Town Club told her the knives were out for her, Susanne Faussner-Ringer should have known her fate had already been sealed by the ageing white Old Boy junta (yes, there was a coup – see nose162) which now runs that once-prestigious “duly registered public benefit organisation”.
When Leinster Hall, old premises of the Cape Town Club, went up in smoke in June, many saw it as symbolic – in more ways than one. Burned-out or not, a warring spirit undoubtedly lives on among the remnant of its membership, now ensconced in a Herbert Baker pile right next door to the Western Cape High Court.
The Victorian gentlemen’s club has in recent years come to accept women among its numbers. Reluctantly so, in the case of Faussner-Ringer, owner of the luxury Greenways Hotel in Claremont, who, after seven years of membership, was given a dismissal notice by the club in May last year.
“You’re not welcome”, warned club chairman Philip Engelen, evidently unhappy to see her darken the doorstep of the Queen Victoria Street premises, and asked her to leave forthwith. With that, Faussner-Ringer slipped away from the do in the billiard room and went downstairs to the bar, where she ordered a drink to mull over her predicament.
Nearby, huddled in agitated conversation, were two other club VIPs, club manager Eugene van der Westhuizen and board chairman James Sedgwick. Unwilling to boot her out themselves, they summoned security company ADT to do the deed.