Case against DRC nationals on hold

2012-01-23 18:01
Johannesburg - At least 20 Congolese nationals appeared on public violence charges in the Johannesburg Regional Court on Monday.

They would remain in custody until their next appearance on January 31, police spokesperson Captain Dennis Adriao said.

About 130 others arrested with the group were released as they could not be positively linked to the crimes.

Last week, police arrested 150 supporters of rival Congolese political factions for public violence during protests related to the election last year in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

They were arrested after a series of clashes between expatriate supporters of Congolese President Joseph Kabila and opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi.

Incumbent Kabila was declared the winner of the election with almost 49% of the vote, to just over 32% for Tshisekedi, but the poll was marred by fraud allegations.

On Monday, Johannesburg metro police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said about 300 Congolese were protesting outside the courthouse in support of their countrymen, causing traffic jams.

"They did not apply to have a protest so we are escorting them out," he said.

Adriao said they had dispersed peacefully by 15:00. Some protesters carried placards reading: "Zuma allowed fraud in DR Congo elections".

Some female protesters carried babies and children, while others had masking tape across their mouths.

Read more on:    joseph kabila  |  etienne tshisekedi  |  johannesburg  |  drc  |  central africa

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