#NotInMyNameInternational slam cops for 'selective' application of law in Gauteng protests
Pretoria - Civil rights movement #NotInMyNameInternational yesterday lambasted the SAPS for “selective” application of the law in relation to pickets and protests in Gauteng.
“This is a police force using apartheid tactics to disperse legal gatherings and they have been very selective in the application of the law. We saw this when we were demonstrating outside the Embassy of Zimbabwe weeks ago.
“We were met with resistance and victimised by the SAPS,” #NotInMyNameInternational founder and president Siyabulela Jentile told African News Agency after a media briefing in Pretoria.
“We were at the Embassy of Zimbabwe to stand in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe. We had gone to the Embassy of the US in solidarity with African-Americans and the SAPS were there supporting us.
"We have also held a picket recently at George Mukhari Hospital. The police were there with us.”
Jentile said despite being blocked from gathering at the Embassy of Zimbabwe, another crowd of protesters was permitted to march to the Union Buildings demanding an end to farms murders and attacks.
“At the Embassy of Zimbabwe, the police came and shot at us. They threw stun grenades and some of us were injured and others were arrested. It is very sad, because just a few days ago there was a march in Pretoria which had lots and lots of people moving to the Union Buildings on bikes. Nothing happened to them, and these people were predominantly white,” said Jentile.
“They were allowed to gather. They were allowed to mobilise, gather and to demonstrate. We are given much resistance from the police.”
On Monday, the Pretoria News reported that thousands of bikers from across South Africa placed white roses and crosses near the gates of the Union Buildings to register their unhappiness with farm killings and racism. Some of the crosses bore the names of farmers killed in the past year.
Organiser Marinus Coetsee said that on August 4 various bikers clubs and bikers councils in Gauteng decided to ride to raise awareness. The idea had initially come from Gauteng, but it had spread countrywide with similar events in Cape Town, KwaZulu-Natal and elsewhere.
The bikers roared around the capital city and formed a 50km ring around the Union Buildings.
Earlier last month, a protest by #NotInMyNameInternational activists turned nasty as police chased off the protesters along different Pretoria streets.
As the crowd of activists started gathering outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in Pretoria, singing, chanting and denouncing the government led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, members of the SAPS instructed the #NotInMyNameInternational leaders to tell their members to disperse immediately.
The #NotInMyNameInternational leaders, including Jentile and secretary-general Themba Masango, insisted that they had been granted permission by the police to picket at the embassy.
Police had not responded to questions on the matter at the time of publication.
African News Agency (ANA)