Eastern Cape records second highest number of protests
According to the Police Ministry, 54 public protests were recorded by police in the past week across the country, with the second highest number of these protests being recorded in the Eastern Cape. However, most them were peaceful.
“It is because most of the leaders of the protesting communities decided to be at the centre of these protests and they have helped to ensure that they went off peacefully most of the time,” said Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko on Saturday.
The Minister commended the leaders for their hand in ensuring that most protests were conducted within the law.
“In the event that the protests were not peaceful, they were quickly brought under control by the combined action of police and leaders,” he said.
Student protests were recorded in eight of the country’s provinces with KwaZulu-Natal recording the most at 15 and Mpumalanga recording the least with two protests. Protests were also recorded in the following provinces:
- Gauteng with 13 protests
- North West with 4 protests
- Free State with 5 protests
- Western Cape with 9
- Eastern Cape with 11
- Limpopo with 3
In all, students estimated at just over 30 000 protested in various forms with most higher learning institutes being barricaded by angry students.
An estimated 40 000 Economic Freedom Fighters also took to the streets in Johannesburg and Sandton in a march that largely went off peacefully.
On Friday, an estimated 1000 members of the African National Congress Women’s League also undertook a march to Pretoria.
Public order police were deployed in all the recorded protests. A few arrests were made although most of these had to do with trespassing and defying court orders.
“Again, men and women in blue have been on hand to ensure that protesters exercise their rights peacefully – the rights that are enshrined in the Constitution. They also ensured that those who were not part of the protests were given the necessary protection and space to go about their lives without least possible inconvenience,” said Minister Nhleko.
The Minister said police will continue to discharge their duty of protecting all South Africans as they exercise their rights.
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