Cape Town protest: SJC's Axolile Notywala released on a warning

2019-01-31 20:54
Ncebo Knonyana balances on his head and does air splits during protest at Cape Town civic centre. (Jenni Evans, News24)

Ncebo Knonyana balances on his head and does air splits during protest at Cape Town civic centre. (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Social Justice Coalition (SJC) general secretary Axolile Notywala has been released on a warning, after Western Cape police detained him for a short while in connection with a protest on Thursday.

Notywala has been charged with the contravention of parts of the Regulations of Gatherings Act.

In November 2018, the Constitutional Court declared a section of the act unlawful, which affirmed the right to protest without permission.

READ: Concourt judgment affirms right to protest without permission

Notywala led a protest to Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato's offices on Thursday, demanding provision for sanitation at  informal settlements on the Cape Flats.

Police used stun grenades to disperse scores of protesters from the civic centre.

Notywala confirmed that he had been released.

He said police told him to appear in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court next Wednesday. 

READ: Stun grenades fired outside Cape Town Civic Centre during water, toilets protest

On Thursday afternoon, Plato spoke to the residents and assured them that he would visit the area to address their complaints. 

"To say that informal settlements are illegally formed is to say that millions of people living in the country are illegal. Yes, we occupied land. But, we did so because we need a place to call home," said the SJC in a statement on Wednesday.

One of the protesters, Peter Nkantini, told GroundUp that he had no choice but to fork out R2 at the nearest shopping centre to use the toilet, R20 to charge his phone or R5 for a bucket of water in Kraaifontein.

"When rubbish is lying about, they say we are slobs. Imagine the difference it would make to have just a plastic bag to throw our rubbish away," Nkathini told the publication.

He went on to say that women and children in his community were unsafe because they were forced to relieve themselves in nearby bushes.

READ MORE: City of Cape Town pumps R165m into safety and security

In a speech at council on Thursday, Plato, who took over from Patria de Lille in November 2018, said there had been an increase in service delivery, with R115m for cleaning up communities and extra R165m for extra safety measures, since he took over.

He lamented the destruction of a community park in Sea Winds that cost R7.6m to build.

The proposals include an additional R26.7m towards human settlements and title deed restoration.

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Read more on:    sjc  |  dan plato  |  cape town  |  service delivery
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