Eskom protesters in court

2012-10-24 12:00

Johannesburg – The court case against 14 environmental protesters who were arrested at Eskom will start around 12:00 on Wednesday at the Randburg Magistrate's Court.

The protesters, aged between 24 and 48, were released on bail of R500 each on Tuesday night.

No one was protesting at the courthouse ahead of the case.

Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner Melita Steele said this was because their focus was on the court case.

"We are here today to appear in court on ridiculous charges. That's our primary focus."

She said the reason for Tuesday's protest was because Greenpeace believed Eskom had failed the people of South Africa.

"They failed to produce clean, affordable and accessible electricity and continue to put South Africa's resources at risk."

The 14 were arrested for trespassing, intimidation and malicious damage to property on Tuesday during a protest at Eskom's Megawatt building in Johannesburg.

Twelve of them were from Greenpeace, one was from groundWork, and another was from Earthlife Africa. The organisations all campaign for environmental protection, clean air, and renewable energy.

The group climbed the building's roof to unfurl a banner across the front entrance reading: "Eskom is under new management".

Several other protesters chained themselves to a table outside the building, to protest against Eskom's continued reliance on coal and the parastatal's latest application to raise electricity tariffs.

On Monday, Eskom submitted an application to the National Energy Regulator of SA for a 16% tariff hike every year for the next five years.

Police cut the protesters' chains, handcuffed them, and took them to the Sandton police station.

  • burningdogz - 2012-10-24 12:29

    If climbing a building and opening a banner can get you arrested, R500 bail and facing charges of intimidation, why the hell are the striking miners and truck drivers walking free?

      theo.joubert.37 - 2012-10-24 12:51

      Mine workers represent votes, government will not act against them. Even when they distroy property, and embark on a killing spree.

      arthur.hugh - 2012-10-24 15:40

      Well said.

  • konfab - 2012-10-24 14:20

    I bet those people would be the first to complain if their electricity was cut.

  • mario.dippenaar - 2012-10-24 14:26

    I saw one of the protesting yesterday on rhe news. A pretty girl, no doubt leading a privileged, sheltered life with her designer clothes and perfectly maintained nails. But I know that having everything in the world is not enough, and sometime you need to take a risk, do something stupid... to feel alive! That is where I met her. I, a loney lab assistant, charged with cleaning out the rat cages. She, a beautiful protestor, with a lit molotov cocktail in hand. As the lab became engulfed with flame and black smoke and my nostrils burned with the smell of burning flesh and chemicals, our eyes locked, it was love at first sight. My mind said "No, this is crazy, you need to get out of here before the oxygen tanks explode!" My heart, however, disagreed. In the choas surrounding us, time seemed to stand still. Gone where the agonising screams, the fire alarm. We embraced each other, our lips where locked. Our passion... an inferno. For more chapters thumbs up, so I can work on my new novel: 50 shades of Green(peace)

      arthur.hugh - 2012-10-24 15:42


  • brian.vanderspuy - 2012-10-24 19:14

    The court should sentence them to a month without electricity. Maybe they'll change their minds once their hair dryers stop working.

  • Maxodin - 2012-10-24 23:52

    I find it funny that South Africans are so complacent that we poke fun at people who fight on our behalf. Eskom is ripping is a new one. We forget how they initially claimed that rolling blackouts were because someone sabotaged the blades on one of the generators and then it was negligence and then it was poor planning etc.

      brian.vanderspuy - 2012-10-25 06:30

      Yes, but Greenpeace isn't protesting against the stuff Eskom does wrong. They are protesting against the things Eskom is getting right.

      Maxodin - 2012-10-26 00:47

      And whAt per se is Eskom getting right other than contributing to pollution and ripping the public a new one? Soon it will become more cost effective to go solar not because solar prices will decrease but because Eskom will increase. We live in a world of consumerism and that drives the economy yes but it also puts a strain on natural resources. Why coal? That went out with the steam train.

      brian.vanderspuy - 2012-10-26 16:35

      As far as I know, at present coal is cheaper than anything else, and South Africa has plenty of it.

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