Joint committee of Rastas takes dagga fight to Parliament

2016-03-02 16:30
Rastafarians marched outside Parliament on Wednesday demanding an end to police brutality, and legalised dagga. (Thulani Gqirana, News24)

Rastafarians marched outside Parliament on Wednesday demanding an end to police brutality, and legalised dagga. (Thulani Gqirana, News24)

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Parliament – The joint ad-hoc national committee of Rastafarians marched to Parliament on Wednesday, demanding the legalisation of dagga.

Over 300 Rastafarians, young and old, gathered outside the venue and demanded that “Babylon”, the police, keep its hands off them until dagga was legalised.

The Cape Town Rasta nation demanded an end to police brutality, and a signed agreement that police would stay away from them until dagga legalisation had been discussed in Parliament.

They felt police were targeting them because of their dagga use and wanted an apology. They handed memorandums for Police Minister Nathi Nhleko and President Jacob Zuma to government officials.

“The minister of police should publicly apologise to the Rastafarians of South Africa for the psychological damage, bodily harm and reputational destruction which members of the SAPS inflict upon Rastafarian adherents on a daily basis,” the memorandum read.

They group humbly asked that all Rastafarians found guilty of dagga possession, dealing, or cultivation have their convictions overturned.

They felt marginalised and dreaded the beginning of every school year, when their children were sent home for having dreadlocks.

Rastafarians believe dagga is sacred and its usage forms part of their religion. 

Read more on:    cape town  |  parliament 2016  |  culture
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