Cabinet condemns protest violence

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Cabinet has condemned the spate of violent protests in separate incidents across the country this week.

“Cabinet would like to reiterate the President’s pronouncement that law enforcement agencies must maintain law and order in the country and at the same time, reaffirms its commitment to protecting the rights of people to protest peacefully without destroying property,” Cabinet spokesperson Jimmy Manyi told reporters this morning following this week’s Cabinet meeting.

He said Cabinet had also strongly condemned the violent protests outside the offices of the ANC in Johannesburg last week, which had led to the damage of property in the city centre. “Government feels that there has been a general culture of violent protests in the country and all protests in this country are protected but violence cannot be condoned,” Manyi said.

Fourteen people arrested in connection with violent protests in Thembelihle, south of Johannesburg, appeared in the Protea magistrate’s court yesterday, police told the state BuaNews agency. Five of the accused were released on a warning. Residents have been protesting against what they called lack of basic services in the area including electricity, sanitation and housing.

The protest, which began on Monday, has caused disruptions throughout the area where three substations were burnt down on Tuesday evening, resulting in a total blackout in neighbouring Lenasia. Meanwhile, the ANC has also vowed to rein in those responsible for the violent protest in front of the organisation’s offices two weeks ago.

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For more information contact Maggie Pienaar at ++27 11 807 3294 or [email protected]

A detailed programme is available here.