All charges have been dropped against a Bo-Kaap minor who was arrested for public violence in June. The minor appeared in Cape Town Magistrate court for the fourth time this morning. The 17-year-old was arrested after he was a bystander during the anti-gentrification protests in the area.
The charges were dropped after the state found that there was not enough evidence to continue the case. The presiding judge closed the case with a discussion on the boy’s development as a child and the importance of school.
The withdrawal has been welcomed by the Women’s Legal Centre, who said that the boy’s arrest was used by authorities as a deterrent against protest action. Members of the Bo-Kaap community, who attended the court proceedings, also lauded the outcome.
Shihaam Samaai from the Women’s Legal Centre said, “The charges against the minor was problematic and was used to stop people from participating in these kinds of gatherings.”
She further added that these types of charges needed to be analysed.
Secretary of the Bo Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association, Jacqueline Poking expressed her joy at the outcome of the court case.
“I’m happy that justice has prevailed. We’ve noticed, in Bo-Kaap that justice is not always on our side but in this case it has been. I am very proud of the young man as well.”
Attorney Igsaan Higgins said, “There was a lot of joy within the court room when the Judge announced the withdrawal of the court case.”