Pro-Zuma Supporters Physically Attack Civil Society at Durban Townhall Meeting on Climate Change

Press Release: Pro-Zuma Supporters Physically Attack Civil Society at
Durban Townhall Meeting on Climate Change.
groundWork, Earthlife Africa Jhb
8th of Dec. 2011

President Zuma watches as Supporters Assault Peaceful Demonstrators

Twenty minutes ago and in a meeting designed for engagement between
President Zuma and communities & civil society, violence broke out when
peaceful civil society demonstrators silently held up signs asking “Zuma
to stand with Africa”. Pro-Zuma supporters, many wearing the uniforms of
COP17 volunteers then attacked the demonstrators in an act of mob violence.

Demonstrators were roughed up and some had to flee the hall.

While all of this went on, President Zuma sat up on the podium and
remained quiet. Furthermore, it took nearly ten minutes before police
entered the hall to restore order.

Siziwe Khanyile of groundWork states, “This was our event, organised to
communicate with President Zuma. We were then abused, kicked out,
robbed, and manhandled by Zuma supporters disguised as COP17 volunteers.”

Tristen Taylor of Earthlife Africa Jhb states, “This was a terrible
display of mob violence that aim to suppress the democratic rights of
citizens of this country. It happened in front of the President of this
country, and disgraces this country in front of the eyes of the world at
time when we should be solving the problem of climate change.”

For more information, please contact:

Siziwe Khanyile
Climate Justice and Energy Campaigner
groundWork, Friends of the Earth, South Africa
Tel:+27 33 342 5662
Fax: +27 33 342 5665
Cell: +27 73 830 8173
Email: siziwe@groundwork.org.za
www.groundwork.org.za
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