BLF 'protects' Guptas against 'Rupert agents' at religious ceremony

2017-04-16 19:12
BLF members and protesters square off outside the Military Museum in Saxonwold where the Guptas were hosting a religious ceremony. (Nation Nyoka, News24)

BLF members and protesters square off outside the Military Museum in Saxonwold where the Guptas were hosting a religious ceremony. (Nation Nyoka, News24)

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Johannesburg – Members of Black First Land First (BLF) interrupted a protest by Johannesburg Against Injustices (JAI) at a Shrimad Bhagwat Katha ceremony organised by the Gupta family at the Military Museum in Saxonwold on Sunday.

BLF said they were there to protect the rights of the Guptas to celebrate their religion, and it would not stand for 'agents of Rupert' interrupting the Guptas at their event.

"We have been asked by the community to make sure that there are no disruptions that take place here today," said Zanele Lwana, deputy president of the BLF.

"This is an attack on the religious community of this country. This is an attack on freedom and being safe. They’re basically saying the Gupta family actually does not even have a right to pray in this country, which is completely wrong because it’s their constitutional right to pray," said Lwana.

The JAI said that while they respected the rights of devotees to worship, the actions of the Gupta family were contrary to the teachings of Lord Krishna.

Officers from the Parkview Police and Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) were called to the scene by one of the protesters who said she felt intimidated and claimed she was manhandled.

Police officers could not verify whether the protest was legal or not.

"What we did today was not a march. What we had was a small, organised silent protest. There were only ten people, and we spread ourselves to different entrances, with our posters – which we had a right to have. That does not require permission," said Peggy Pillay, one of the organisers.

In a statement, the JAI described the Gupta family as "perpetual wrongdoers", saying "they must not use religion to conceal their nefarious deeds or as some kind of public relations exercise to turn the tide of public opinion".

The organisation called on Hindu leaders and priests to boycott the event.

Neeshan Balton, CEO of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, was there in his personal capacity. He said one can’t use religion to pretend to be good people because good always triumphs over evil.

"The good will always triumph over the evil. We will get rid of this family and their stronghold over this country, as well as all of the efforts at capturing our country and our state."


Read more on:    blf  |  guptas  |  johannesburg

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