Activists claim Zuma supporters attacked them
Johannesburg -Tensions between local left activists at COP 17 in Durban and the government exploded again on Thursday with activists claiming they were assaulted by “a group of pro-Zuma supporters” at a meeting with President Jacob Zuma.
“In a meeting designed for engagement between President Zuma and communities and civil society, violence broke out when peaceful civil society demonstrators silently held up signs asking ‘Zuma to stand with Africa,’” said Tristen Taylor from Earthlife Africa.
He said the “pro-Zuma supporters”, many wearing the uniforms of COP 17 volunteers then attacked the demonstrators “in an act of mob violence”.
“Demonstrators were roughed up and some had to flee the hall,” he said. “While all of this went on, President Zuma sat up on the podium and remained quiet. Furthermore, it took nearly ten minutes before police entered the hall to restore order.”
Siziwe Khanyile of groundWork said: “This was our event, organised to communicate with President Zuma. We were then abused, kicked out, robbed, and manhandled by Zuma supporters disguised as COP 17 volunteers.”
The latest incident follows violence over the weekend where activists were attacked by a group of COP 17 volunteers, also dressed in their bright green uniform.
The “green bombers” as they were dubbed by the activists roughed up the green activists and pelted them with stones over the weekend at the Day of Global Action march.
Before COP 17 the leftist activists also complained that they were closely being watched by both National Intelligence and the police’s crime intelligence.
City Press has approached Zuma’s spokespeople for comment.