Sixteen students accused of public violence during a weekend protest outside Parliament have been ordered to appear in court on 13 October.
The students were among 18 arrested during a bikers’ anti-crime rally and a protest against gender-based violence, which took place on Saturday outside Parliament.
Police eventually used stun grenades to disperse the crowd – after allegations that roads had been blocked and cars damaged – and the 18 were arrested shortly after noon.
They had been released from police cells after midnight on Saturday, after around 12 hours behind bars.
On Monday, they appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court, facing charges of public violence and breaking disaster management legislation forbidding unapproved gatherings.
The 16 were warned to appear again on 13 October.
The State, however, was warned that investigators and prosecutors would need to have the cases against the accused completed by this date – and no delays beyond that would be tolerated.
The court heard the precinct was well-covered by CCTV cameras, and investigators should be able to access accurate footage of what had transpired on the day.
The court acknowledged all 16 in the dock were students, and had suffered “stress and strain” during their arrest.