Thu, 22 Apr 2021

  • Saftu attempted to march to Parliament regarding several grievances that workers have.
  • Police warned protesters they were not permitted to march.
  • Stun grenades were used to disperse the crowd - and two arrests were made.

Two leaders of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) were arrested on Wednesday during an attempt to march to Parliament.

Police stopped the protest at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in District Six.

Union members had been gathering in Keizersgracht Street and, as such, there was a heavy police presence in the area.

Saftu had initially applied for a permit, but it was denied by the City of Cape Town.

Non-profit organisation Right To Know, who joined the march, also applied, but its application was also denied.

SAFTU strikeSAFTU strikeNews24 Marvin Charles

Police warned protesters they were not allowed to march to Parliament.

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Saftu then arranged a motorcade, but police warned that this, too, was not permitted.

The protesters, though, were adamant. They got into vehicles and continued, but were stopped by police as they approached Parliament.

The kerfuffle escalated after police tried to arrest the one of the leaders.

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Stun grenades were fired - and two leaders of Saftu were subsequently arrested.

Saftu planned the march to Parliament because workers have several grievances, including the high unemployment rate.

On Tuesday, StatsSA released the employment data for the fourth quarter of 2020, which indicated that unemployment was now at 32.5% - the highest since 2008.

Source: News24

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