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No charges have been laid against private security guards who allegedly “roughed up” protesters and threw leaves at a cameraman during a nuclear power protest in Sandton on Tuesday, Gauteng police said.
Warrant Officer Moses Maphakela said neither the Greenpeace protesters nor the journalists, who were taking footage of the security guards removing black bags containing leaves, had laid charges against the guards.
He said the protest had broken up by 11.30am when he visited the scene.
The environmental group staged the protest in an attempt to halt talks aimed at expanding nuclear energy on the continent, Greenpeace Africa spokeswoman Ferrial Adam said in a statement.
“Five Greenpeace activists have been roughed up outside the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) building in Sandton... following their action this morning where they demanded a halt to discussions aimed at expanding nuclear not only in South Africa, but also the rest of the African continent.”
She said the protesters had chained themselves to the gates of the IDC when about a dozen private security guards started to “intimidate” them.
“They used their batons to break the chain and started pushing us around. Then they pulled us inside (the premises) and claimed we were trespassing,” Adams said.
eNews Channel showed footage of the security guards throwing bags of leaves – part of the Greenpeace demonstration's props – at journalists trying to capture footage of the protest.
Energy Minister Dipuo Peters opened the conference, which was organised by Omega Investment Research, a Cape Town-based international advisory firm.
The energy department said it would respond to Greenpeace's concerns about nuclear energy later on Tuesday. – Sapa