South Africa 20.6.2015 07:00 am

R2K acts against JMPD checklist

FILE PICTURE: Metropolitan Police Department officers march in unison. Picture: Alaister Russell

FILE PICTURE: Metropolitan Police Department officers march in unison. Picture: Alaister Russell

The Right2Know campaign (R2K) has accused the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) of acting unconstitutionally and not understanding the Regulation of Gatherings Act.

This was in response to the JMPD’s demand that people who wanted to protest must pay a R140 “administration fee” and meet a checklist of requirements.

Yesterday R2K staged a picket outside the JMPD offices at the Wemmer Complex in Johannesburg to submit a memorandum. However, no officials met them.

R2K Gauteng organiser Bongani Xezwi said the protest was organised against JMPD to scrap its checklist. “It undermines our right to protest,” he said.

Xezwi said a gathering or protest could only be prevented on three conditions: if it involved injuries, was overcrowded to an extent that control would exceed manpower, and was violent.

Xezwi said the checklist was therefore unconstitutional.

R2K provincial coordinator Julie Reid said she was not surprised the memorandum was not received, saying it was typical of the JMPD. “They have been trying to clamp down on our protests to stop us from protesting. There are bureaucratic means and unlawful stipulations not in the gathering act that they keep introducing.

“At first they told us they were going to accept the memorandum. They later told us they were not going to do that,” said Reid.

JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said the protest was unprotected, hence none of their officials could meet R2K.
– zinhlek@citizen.co.za

 

today in print