Five more arrested, police officer injured during #EnoughIsEnough protests

An anti-femicide protester in Cape Town. (Tammy Petersen, News24)
An anti-femicide protester in Cape Town. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Five more people were arrested during the groundswell of demonstrations in Cape Town's CBD against the killing and raping of women and girls.

Western Cape police spokesperson Mihlali Majikela said a man was detained at Cape Town central police station for the alleged assault of a police officer. 

One woman and three men were arrested for alleged public violence near the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). Their ages are not known yet, so it is not clear if they were minors.

All four were expected to make a court appearance once charged but a large group had already gathered outside the police station in support of those arrested.

On Wednesday, the police said eight female and two male students were arrested on charges of public violence. 

Stun grenades, pepper spray and water cannons were used by the police on the crowd of mostly young women protesting against femicide near the CTICC.

Protesters, many of them pupils dressed in school uniforms, were pushed and shoved from where they gathered at the Media24 building on the Foreshore after being blocked from entering the CTICC vicinity.

 

Dozens of police officers watched the peaceful group sing struggle songs in the company's parking lot before the police forced them from the private property toward DF Malan Street.

Insults were hurled and stones thrown as the police physically forced the protesters further from the CTICC. 

"You push us and abuse us. We should be careful of you, too!" one woman shouted.

"Where are you with all this force and resources when we are being raped and murdered?" another screamed.

Independent Police Investigative Directorate spokesperson Sontaga Seisa was establishing whether any complaints had been made against the police, adding this aspect would be updated once the information was received. 

News24 multimedia journalist Aletta Harrison was in the middle of confrontations and said the police tried to force people away from the Media24 centre near the CTICC, adding a water cannon was unleashed with the force of the water pushing protesters back.

A pupil was also seen knocked over by the jet of water.

Many schools held their own vigils, or allowed pupils to attend the mass solidarity gathering in Cape Town, which also spilled out to Christiaan Barnard Street, where a national highway ends, causing traffic to be diverted.


"Ever since I was small I have always been in fear of being raped"


One person told Harrison the police had kept pushing them into the streets. 

"Ever since I was small I have always been in fear of being raped," one of the protesters still in the area on Thursday afternoon told her. 

Another said the police had "shoved them around" and sprayed tear gas at them while they were sitting on the ground. 

The memory of murdered Uyinene Mrwetyana, killed in a post office, lived on in the posters people carried. Most protesters wore black.

Also remembered was 19-year-old Jesse Hess, murdered with her grandfather in Parow.

Women disputed statements by government ministers who said they "feel the pain" of the protesters. 

"They had bodyguards," they said of the ministers who were at the gathering outside Parliament earlier on Thursday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the group at Parliament, and made a live announcement on TV and radio at 18:00.

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