Charges against pro-Palestine supporters arrested during Sea Point clash dropped

Saeed Abrahams 29, Mohammed Junaid Herman 20, and Abduraghmaan Arendse 25, at the Cape Town Magistrates Court, on Monday. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / Independent Newspapers

Saeed Abrahams 29, Mohammed Junaid Herman 20, and Abduraghmaan Arendse 25, at the Cape Town Magistrates Court, on Monday. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / Independent Newspapers

Published Nov 14, 2023


Cape Town - The charges against three pro-Palestinian supporters arrested during violent altercations with Public Order Police on Sunday have been dropped.

More than 1 000 Pro-Palestine supporters mobilised on the lawns for a peaceful picnic and demonstrations.

This was in response to and ahead of a gathering by pro-Israeli supporters, namely International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, Concerned Clergy Western Cape, and Bridges for Peace, who were to hold a “Prayer and Proclamation for Israel and South Africa” at Mandela Glasses, Three Anchor Bay.

Outbreaks of violence occurred with police when pro-Palestine supporters attempted to get rid of Israeli flags, as hundreds of Public Order Police in riot gear, law enforcement and metro police officers were present and forming a protective barrier around the pro-Israel supporters. More than five casspirs were at the site.

Supporters, activists and advocates/ lawyers remained at the Green Point police station until they could secure the release of the individuals arrested. The three, arrested between 1pm and 2pm on charges of public violence, were released on R1 000 bail each after 11pm on Sunday.

The attorney representing the three, Junaid Jumat, said: “I can confirm at this stage that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has decided not to enrol the matter against all three. I think what’s important is that they are not going to appear before a criminal court today (yesterday).”

It is understood that one of his clients was assaulted by the police while handcuffed.

“There was a doctor at the station yesterday (Sunday) that looked at my client but we haven’t gone for any further medical attention at this stage.”

City councillor and one of the advocates assisting with the matter at the police station, Shameemah Dollie Salie, said they would be querying just how much money was spent in deploying the police resources on Sunday.

“There is a budget in every department and we want to know how much money was used by the City for Sunday’s protest to protect the Zionists. As the City had nowhere to deploy as much law enforcement as it had to protect Zionists.

“Cape Flats does not see this level of protection ever.”

According to Dollie Salie, a pregnant woman was wounded by a law enforcement officer in the leg and required stitches at Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital.

She said a criminal complaint was opened against the law enforcement officer for the assault. In response to queries, police spokesperson Wesley Twigg said Sea Point police were investigating cases of assault cases.

On Saturday, one of the largest demonstrations in the country in recent years took place in Cape Town, in solidarity with Palestine. Reports indicated that 30 000-40 000 people were in attendance, while others reported that this figure surpassed 100 000.

In a now-deleted Facebook post, Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith said: “The violence in Gaza, Israel, and Rafah, is intolerable. But what about Manenberg, Hanover Park, and Lavender Hill? What about these lives? It’s time we also focus on our communities here at home. Do their lives matter?”

In the past 30 days, in just three areas, 982 shooting incidents were recorded, he added.

In response to this, Dollie Salie said violence on the Cape Flats could not be compared to a “genocide, holocaust and people living in a concentration camp”.