Climate meeting takes unruly turn
Durban - A climate change meeting to be addressed by President Jacob Zuma took an unruly turn at the Durban City Hall on Thursday.
Some of those attending refused to stop carrying posters which read: "Zuma stand with the poor, not the USA."
Another group who sang Zuma songs grabbed the demonstrators and pushed them out of the hall. One of them was smacked and kicked while lying down.
The aim of the meeting was for Zuma to give feedback on a consultation session with civil society organisations on the sidelines of COP 17 talks currently taking place in Durban.
Some of the people who carried posters were taken away by the police. It was not immediately clear if they had been arrested.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize, who directed the programme, struggled to calm the people down.
"Please calm down. We don’t need chaos," he said.
Bobby Peek of Groundwork, an environmental organisation, blamed the police for the chaos.
"The comrades came here with positive messages and the problem started when the police started pulling them down," he said.
"They were here to support Zuma. These are people from different civic organisations with positive messages for Zuma."