Citizen reporter
2 minute read
4 Sep 2019
1:50 pm

#AmINext: Police fire stun grenades to disperse protesters trying to storm WEF

Citizen reporter

The protesters want a state of emergency declared in reaction to recent cases of violence against women.

epa07816713 South African police try to stop protestors predominantly women as they breach the perimeter of the Cape Town International Convention Centre which is hosting the World Economic Forum on Africa (WEF) in Cape Town, South Africa, 04 September 2019. The protestors demanded the South African government clamp down on gender based violence following a week of brutal murders of young South African women. The protestors also called for leaders at the WEF to boycott investment in South Africa until the president deals with this burning issue. The World Economic Forum on Africa runs 04-06 September 2019. EPA-EFE/NIC BOTHMA

Hundreds of protesters have tried to enter the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), where the WEF for Africa is currently taking place.

A large group of police, with riot vehicles, have stopped the protesters, who are believed to mainly be students, from entering the venue, Bloomberg reports. It has since been reported by multiple sources that stun grenades have been used.

According to IOL, chants of “we want a state of emergency”, “how many more” and “shut down the country” could be heard as the protesters charged for the door.

The Citizen reported earlier on Wednesday that a group of South African women organised under the name “Am I Next” engaged in a silent protest to the Cape Town International Convention Center (CTICC) to demand action from President Cyril Ramaphosa regarding the ongoing problems of femicide and gender-based violence in South Africa.

People demonstrate outside The Cape Town International Convention Centre, where the World Economic Forum(WEF) Africa meeting is taking place, on September 4, 2019, in Cape Town, to protest against the abuse of women by men. – Uyinene Mrwetyana, a 19 year-old university student of UCT, was raped and killed on August 24, 2019, this murder has caused a groundswell of anger and protest against violence against women. (Photo by RODGER BOSCH / AFP)

The organisation’s name was derived from a question that various social media users began to ask this week after news of the deaths of boxing champ Leighandre ‘Baby Lee’ Jegels and UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana.

READ MORE: Over 600K sign petitions over violence against women as SA prepares to march

The question was then turned into a hashtag #AmINext, which has also since been used to out perpetrators of sexual violence in a version of the #MeToo moment for South Africa.

The CTICC is currently where the 2019 World Economic Forum on Africa is happening featuring delegates from all over the world. Ramaphosa is also in attendance.

Although he has not yet addressed the crowd, they were attended to by Dr Olive Shisana, who is the chair of a special task team on gender-based violence established by Ramaphosa’s administration.

Ramaphosa has yet to respond to the protesters’ concerns.

(Edited by Daniel Friedman. Background reporting, Kaunda Selisho)

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