By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku 3h ago
Cape Town – A group of protesters with a mixed bag of demands marched on the Central Business District of Stellenbosch, but clashed with police on their way.
The group calling themselves “Jozi to Stellenbosch” included student organisations, activists and political parties. They demanded, among other things, land expropriation, reparations, the return of the ex-miners and an end to “white monopoly”.
Police spokesperson Andre Traut said the crowd was dispersed and no one was arrested. He said law enforcement officers would maintain maintain law and order.
Stellenbosch municipality, however, said four protesters were arrested and would appear in court today.
South African Destitute Ex-Miners Forum (SADEMF) general secretary Mangaliso Sambo said they had “declared a war on Stellenbosch as a cocoon of mining captains and had supported the movement to throw stones at Rupert’s and Oppenheimer’s glass houses built on the blood, sweat and tears of black people”.
“The SADEMF reiterates that the call ‘the hour of youth has struck’ should tickle the youth towards a national uprising to stand for our future, parents, mining communities and the vast unemployment, to emphasise that without nationalisation of mines from the piggy Mafia, there will never be a solution for the destitute,” Sambo said.
The Land Party, which also sup-ported the protest, urged the Stellenbosch authorities to engage with the youth rather than send “their lap dogs into blasting them with teargas and bullets”.
“For this group of young people to walk all this way shows the desperation of the majority of South Africans. The least that the Stellenbosch boys can do is to listen to them,” the party said.
The Land Party also called for an economic indaba that includes all community leaders, not just the government. “We need everybody to be involved in devising a new way forward for our economy and our country,” the party said.
Stellenbosch community police forum spokesperson Tim Flack, who was monitoring the protest, said there was no damage to property or cars.
“The Stellenbosch community was especially concerned by the threat of violence, as the group said they were going to kill white people. They were sort of militant about it, but it turned out to be a peaceful protest that was dispersed incredibly fast,” he said.