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Police facing court action over arrest of protesters

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The Action Forum for Palestine are planning to take action against the South African Police Services (SAPS), over the treatment of five pro-Palestinian supporters arrested on Sunday after allegedly staging an illegal protest. The protesters were pulled over by police after returning from a picket near the Sea Point Pavilion, with police reports accusing the group of staging an illegal motorcade through Gardens. They were released on Monday after the case against them was thrown out by the magistrate’s court, due to a lack of evidence.

According to the forum’s Shaheed Mahomed, they would be using numerous video and photo evidence received from eye-witnesses, to launch a case against the police. He noted that amongst the evidence they had received, was a picture of a police captain stealing a megaphone from one of the accused.

“It is good that we made a call on that day that people should go armed with their cameras, because we expected a provocation from the police. Unfortunately it did happen, because the police were intent on creating an incident,” he said.

Despite the uproar regarding the treatment of the group, he expressed satisfaction at the public prosecutors decision to throw the case out.

“The case didn’t even get to court. That’s how flimsy the evidence was,” he said.

Mahomed suggested the arrests were part of unified and coordinated action between the police and local Zionist community.

He expressed shock that the case had escalated to a point where the Hawks were tasked with handling the investigation, suggesting that they were desperate to find a case against the protesters. He said they would raise this issue with the relevant authorities.

The case has spurned numerous reports in some of the countries major media outlets, many of which have taken a negative stance towards the protesters. Mahomed claimed this was a result of many of the outlets being owned by individuals who were sympathetic to the Zionist agenda.

“This is not just a small issue, because the Zionists have been committing genocide in Gaza. In effect, they are promoting Zionism, and they are promoting genocide,” he suggested.

Despite the incident, he urged the community not to be distracted in their boycott and sanction campaigns against some of the countries major retail groups. He called for a renewed focus, particularly in the boycott against Woolworths. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)

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