PREMIUM!

Cops roll out the big guns for softies

Editorials 3 weeks ago

They didn’t set tyres alight; dig holes in the road or put up barricades; they didn’t throw rocks.


25 Jul 2020
PREMIUM!
Cops roll out the big guns for softies

A South African hospitality worker protests in front of advancing police in the streets around Parliament, Cape Town, South Africa, 24 July 2020. Police used stun grenades and water cannons to disperse a gathering of hospitality workers who were peacefully protesting against the current lockdown regulations that are crippling their industry. Several arrests were made. The hospitality, restaurant and tourism sectors have been severely affected by the new lockdown regulations with protests against government springing up across the country. Picture: EPA-EFE/NIC BOTHMA

They put out tables, held up posters and made a little bit of noise. Yet, according to Bheki Cele’s jackbooted enforcers of “law and order” in Cape Town yesterday, they were a clear and present danger to the public peace. And so they had to be dispersed with force. Like the goons from a post-apocalyptic movie, they moved in, with their armoured vehicles, their stun grenades and teargas and their water cannon. That is the government’s answer to an anguished plea from people who have lost virtually everything because of the harsh lockdown regulations. They are restaurants which struggle to...

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