CAPE TOWN - Luthando Mncuntula who was among the demonstrators at a Council meeting on Thursday has alleged that his left arm and four fingers were broken after being manhandled by a law enforcement police officer.
Mncuntula said he was chased out of the Council meeting where the Unlawful Occupation by-laws were being protested.
“We were having a peaceful demonstration during the council meeting at the Civic Centre when law enforcement forcefully removed us.
“As a citizen, I have a right to protest or voice my rights. A few firefighters came to me because they could see something was wrong. They called an ambulance but later they said there were no ambulances to quickly assist me. So I had to take myself to the hospital,” said Mncuntula.
Mncuntula said the main reason for the demonstration was because the by-law oppressed poor people.
“As the citizens of this country, we were supposed to be given a chance to have a say on this by-law.
“This by-law is opposing Chapter two of the Bill of Rights. Law Enforcement never issues a court order when,” he said.
Law Enforcement spokesperson Wayne Dyason said the City was aware of the incident.
“The Speaker addressed the group on numerous occasions during the Mayor’s speech.
“VIP was asked to remove the group from the gallery and Law Enforcement played a supportive role after they were removed.
“No Law Enforcement officer was part of the physical removal of the group until they were brought downstairs to the front entrance of the 6th floor.
“There we tried to convince them to leave the Civic voluntarily, to which they refused, saying that one person had been injured. Medical assistance was offered. According to the EMS personnel, the complainant had full movement in all his fingers with a small cut on his left thumb, which was covered with a plaster. He decided to take an Uber to the hospital when no ambulance was available at the time,” said Dyason.
EFF Provincial spokesperson Andisiwe Madikazi said: “We are also not impressed with the City’s self-praising relating to the decrease in crime stats, it is not a secret that we are still facing high levels of major killings and rape crisis in Cape Town. The city remains the murder capital city in South Africa where its townships are occupying the top 10 spots in the country. The City’s law enforcement is being used to collect the ticket fines because it’s where their revenue is made instead of protecting our people,” said Madikazi.