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Protests, Principles and Politics

Protests, Principles and Politics. Last week it was reported that rumours had been heard about persisting protests in the Driefontein area as from Thursday, 17 March.

An agreement could apparently not be reached at a meeting that was held in the area on Thursday, 31 March. It is said that promises of further negotiations resulted in Friday, 1 April, being quite peaceful with no protesting, visible policing and normal activities along the taxi route and N2. There have been no demonstrations by protestors since as the relative parties are apparently still negotiating. It has been said that protestors have threatened to start demonstrating again on Thursday, 7 April, should no agreement be reached. Speculative rumours have also been heard that “bribes” have divided the ranks of the protestors and that, should this be true, Thursday will also see no protesting.

A second group of protestors, members of the community near the Kiepersol mine, were found blocking roads early on Tuesday morning, 5 April, refusing access to employees who wanted to go to work. Allegedly an employee from the mine, who tried to gain access in order to go to work, was seriously assaulted and needed stitches afterwards. Warning shots were apparently fired by the police and it is said that havoc broke loose thereafter. Some members of the community were arrested according to bystanders. The reason for this recent protest is not clear and it was even alleged that some or other political meeting was held and therefore the roads had been blocked to stop people from outside the area to enter. Should this be the case, one wonders why people were kept from going to work. Which principle caused the community members’ protest? Currently feedback from the SAPS is awaited.

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