Stopping arms deal picket 'was wrong'

2014-06-12 10:18
Right2Know protesters (Lohanna Hoffmann, Beeld)

Right2Know protesters (Lohanna Hoffmann, Beeld)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - The Tshwane metro police decision to stop a picket outside the Seriti inquiry was a flagrant disregard for the right to protest, the North Gauteng High Court heard on Thursday.

Patricia Erasmus, for the Right2Know Campaign said the matter was urgent and of significant importance.

"We did not want to come to court. This is a last resort. We tried to negotiate with the respondents (Tshwane), saying to them 'if we can't picket at the commission, can we picket somewhere else'," said Erasmus.

"The issue of urgency has been occasioned by the respondents, by their unwillingness to negotiate."

She said the metro police were flouting the Gatherings Act.

The campaign wants to picket outside the commission when former president Thabo Mbeki testifies at the inquiry probing the controversial 1999 arms deal.

The Right2Know Campaign said on Wednesday it had no choice but to bring the appeal.

It said metro police claimed they had already granted two other organisations permission to picket and three units of police officers would be deployed.

Former finance minister Trevor Manuel, former defence minister Mosiuoa Lekota and former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils were testifying before the commission this week.

Mbeki was supposed to testify this week but his mother Epainette died on Saturday. The commission is expected to make an announcement on whether his testimony will be postponed.

President Jacob Zuma appointed the commission in 2011 to investigate alleged corruption in the 1999 multi-billion rand deal.

The government acquired, among other hardware, 26 Gripen fighter aircraft and 24 Hawk lead-in fighter trainer aircraft for the air force, and frigates and submarines for the navy.
Read more on:    right2know  |  mosiua lekota  |  pretoria  |  military  |  arms deal

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Amazing solar inventions!

Solar power is lighting up the world, and not just on rooftops anymore.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

It may be hard to maintain a steady rhythm as you find yourself juggling a zillion things. Slow down a little and let go of more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.