TAC's Zackie Achmat arrested in Cape Town

2013-09-12 15:28

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

Cape Town - Treatment Action Campaign founder Zackie Achmat and 18 Social Justice Coalition (SJC) activists were arrested for illegally gathering outside the Cape Town civic centre, an SJC official said on Thursday.

SJC general secretary Phumeza Mlungwana, one of those arrested, said they chained themselves to railings on Wednesday morning because of frustration over sanitation provision in Khayelitsha.

She said there had been many memorandums, meetings and lawyer's letters to the city in the past two years regarding clarification on how a sanitation policy would be implemented.

The city recently introduced a janitorial service to informal settlements, which the SJC welcomed.

Mlungwana said it was, however, important for those who lived in the area to be included in all plans so they could understand how to assist with monitoring the service.

"They should be able to set priorities because they are beneficiaries of the project."

She said the relationship with the city had recently deteriorated because of a lack of communication.

"Our membership felt we needed to take some action and that action was urgent... We tried to engage within the framework of the law, but clearly we have a different understanding of how this process should go," she said.

'Publicity stunt'

"The idea was actually that, if we were there, maybe she [Mayor Patricia de Lille] might find time to meet with us."

Cape Town utility services councillor Ernest Sonnenberg called the protest an "obvious publicity stunt".

"The city has had extensive engagements with the SJC over the last two years - this as a result of a genuine desire to co-operate wherever possible," he said.

"The executive mayor has provided two possible dates for a meeting to discuss their latest demands, but they have yet to respond. It is therefore puzzling that they state that the mayor is unwilling to engage."

Mlungwana said they were told in July that October was the first available date for a meeting but that the SJC believed it was too late for such an urgent matter.

They chained themselves because they knew they would be chased away without speaking to De Lille. Some members then left with the keys to the lock.

Police and the mayoral committee safety unit warned the activists to leave or be arrested for an illegal gathering.

The group told police that while they respected their position, they would not move.

The chains were cut, the group was arrested, and taken to Cape Town central police station.

Mlungwana said they were held for 10 hours and released on warning after 22:00.

Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut confirmed 19 people, aged 18 to 51, were arrested.

"The circumstances surrounding the matter are under investigation and the arrested persons will be charged in due course, whereafter they are expected to appear in court.

"The identities of those who were arrested are not disclosed."

Sonnenberg said the city employed 800 trained cleaners to clean toilets in informal settlements.

"There will always be management challenges in a programme of this nature, and the city has sought to respond to these as they arise."

He said that while the city acted in good faith discussing the roll-out of the janitor service, it was not an SJC-led initiative.

"It is disappointing that the SJC resorted to an obvious gimmick to create publicity, instead of sincerely engaging with the city, as we have always done with them."

Those arrested are expected to appear in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on 18 September.

- SAPA
Read more on:    patricia de lille  |  cape town  |  hiv aids  |  service delivery  |  protests
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
31 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

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

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.