Rondebosch protesters in court

2012-01-30 11:01

Cape Town - A backyarder group, who had their protest on Rondebosch Common in Cape Town dispersed by the police last week, are due to appear in court on Monday.

The 41 Mandela Park Backyarders demonstrators will appear in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on charges of public violence.

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille had promised to come down hard on the group if their protest went ahead.

Organisers of the protest said they would lodge a complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission, claiming that the city’s show of force was "overkill" and "illegal".

"We were, with the help of some dedicated lawyers, able to secure the release of 41 of the people arrested," the group said in a statement.

"The police are still refusing to release one protester however, possibly because Patricia de Lille has been gunning for him."

No permission to protest

According to the Cape Times newspaper, the police, who outnumbered the small group of protesters, sprayed blue dye on the crowd to disperse them. The group had not obtained permission to protest.

According to the organisers, Mario Wanza, leader of the backyarder group, remained behind bars at Manenberg police station over the weekend ahead of his court appearance in Athlone on Monday.

Mayoral committee member Grant Pascoe said the police dealt with matters of public order and the arrests were not carried out on De Lille’s instructions.

"Our guys were there as back-up," he told the Cape Times.

"It’s difficult to say why SAPS reacted the way they did. But in this instance, Wanza failed to meet the requirements of the Gatherings Act,” Pascoe said.

Group to approach HRC

"But I want to categorically state that (De Lille) said our law enforcement guys must not act heavy-handedly.

"(The) mayor said ‘no physicality’," Pascoe said.

One of the Mandela Park Backyarders' organisers, Richard October, said the group would approach the HRC today.

"One person is still under arrest and that’s (Wanza). From what we understand, it is De Lille who is personalising this matter and making it about Wanza," he said.

  • Pyrokinetix - 2012-01-30 11:17

    This wouldn't have been necessary if Patricia responded to their request to protest in time. Instead she threatened and pissed people off.

      Deon - 2012-01-30 11:40

      Get permission on time to protest or don't protest at all. Try working for your own home.

      lydonmcg - 2012-01-30 12:21

      No. If you'd have done your research you'd have discovered that the city agreed to meet with the protesters to discuss granting them permission to protest, but the group representatives failed to attend the meeting on time and the city refused them permission as a result. They have no one but themselves to blame.

      Pyrokinetix - 2012-01-30 16:38

      They were less than 30 minutes late and called to make arrangements. this was greeted with a refusal to grant them permission.

  • Newsmonger - 2012-01-30 11:19

    good reporting!?! - what where they protesting about. here I will do half the work for you..

  • Myvision - 2012-01-30 11:34

    Pity they discovered late that the DA wants to accommodate them in jail than provide them with houses

      Chris - 2012-01-30 11:51

      I don't own a house either, will the ANC give me one?

      rlong1952 - 2012-01-30 11:57

      Since when is it any governments duty to provide a home? Eish, guess what, I had to work for mine AND pay for it. How strange!!

  • Shirley - 2012-01-30 12:03

    Please-"dont be heavy handed" with these trouble makers,lets molly coddle them and pamper them and God forbid one should upset their feelings????? They broke the law and must suffer the consequences!! The " I want everything for mahala" whinge is destroying the economy,they dont deserve free housing-look at the destuction they cause to property!

  • Lesley - 2012-01-30 13:56

    What have the protesters done to try and uplift themselves? Nothing I bet. They suffer from the South African mindset of sit on your butt, hold out your hand and give me what I want without me having to work for it. And the sad thing is that they are teaching their kids this so that the cycle is perpetuated.

      Shirley - 2012-01-30 14:00

      Ita the "African" way.

  • Lesley - 2012-01-30 13:58

    Forgot to add that they want their rights but will not accept the responibilty that goes with the rights. It is never their fault.

  • jaredsacks1 - 2012-01-30 15:09

    Dear Sapa, your journalists need to do some real research. The group is not the Mandela Park Backyarders. The group is the Take Back the Common movement. The Mandela Park Backyarders were not present on the Common but support the initiative and sent out a solidarity statement.

      wesleywt - 2012-01-30 17:13

      How do you take back a common that never belonged to you? People think you are weird.

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