DRC march in Cape Town called off

2011-12-23 13:08
Cape Town - A march against Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila was called off in Cape Town on Friday after it drew only a small turnout, Western Cape police said.

The protesters from the DRC had gathered in the parking lot of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town on Friday morning.

"They came together but dispersed because they had a very small turnout," Captain Frederick van Wyk said.

A spokesperson for the protesters, Oliver Kalala, said the police had asked them to come back after the Christmas holidays as their officers had been deployed across the peninsula.

"The police said there were many security risk issues. They said we can't march because there are lots of events in the city at the moment [and that] we would disturb the holiday makers."

Kalala said the DRC election was fraudulent and that Kabila had no right to lead the DRC.

"The outgoing president committed fraud with the help of other African heads of state, including President [Jacob] Zuma," he said.

Congo opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, 79, was due to hold his own "swearing-in" ceremony at 11:00 on Friday, three days after the re-elected Kabila took office.

The country's Supreme Court and the election commission said Kabila had won the vote by 49% against Tshisekedi's 32%.

Tshisekedi has declared himself "president-elect". French news agency AFP reported that since Sunday, the presidential guard had positioned tanks throughout the DRC capital, Kinshasa.

Police have regularly moved to break up gatherings of opposition groups.

Kalala said Kabila was isolated.

"During his swearing-in ceremony only Mugabe [Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe] was there," he said.

"That shows the world does not support Kabila. At 11:00 we will be celebrating the victory of our true leader."

Read more on:    joseph kabila  |  etienne tshisekedi  |  drc  |  cape town  |  protests  |  central africa

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