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SALGA condemns ‘torching of a councillor’s car’ and intimidation made against elected representatives on television

 


Posted: 14 May 2018

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SALGA condemns in the strongest terms the violent protest of Vrygrond community in Cape Town which saw a car belonging to a Councillor Gerry Gordon being torched, among others. More shocking was a disturbing video of a protester making threats on a national television that he will burn a Councillor house, including that of the Mayor.

This type of lawlessness and anarchy disguised as the protest should be condemned with the contempt it deserves. We call on the law enforcement to act speedily in the case of malicious damage to property which has been opened and further investigate the violent threats and intimidation made against elected representatives on live television.

Gordon’s vehicle, a Toyota SUV was set alight by angry residents after the City’s anti-invasion unit tore down their structures.

The tendency by certain communities to take-out their frustration to Councillors should stop. Councillors are representative of the people and ground soldiers of the community, not the enemy.

SALGA strongly condemns violent protests and calls for communities to make use of community structures and systems such as Ward Committees, public participation programmes and Integrated Development Planning (IDP) engagements which gives communities direct participation in the governing of their respective Councils. Regardless of the grievances people may have, violent protests only aggravate the challenges communities face and has no place in a democratic South Africa.

The Constitution protects the rights of everyone to assemble, demonstrate, picket and present petitions in an unarmed and peaceful manner. These rights, however, by no means allow for criminal behaviour such as the destruction of property, or the intimidation and assault of other individuals in pursuit of any objective.

Photo credit: Thembela Ntongana

 
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