Vet­eran ac­tivists in ac­tion

Grocott's Mail - - NEWS -

Three Black Sash stal­warts again stood in protest this week in a land­mark ac­tion. The anti-apartheid or­gan­i­sa­tion was founded in 1955 to de­fend the Con­sti­tu­tion against the Na­tion­al­ist gov­ern­ment. Vet­er­ans Rose­mary Smith, Adri­enne Whisson and Kay Marx on Tues­day held plac­ards in protest out­side Makana Mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s Fi­nance Depart­ment.

For the past two weeks, a group of ac­tivists has been stag­ing daily protests and invit­ing passers by to sign a pe­ti­tion call­ing for the dis­so­lu­tion of the Makana Coun­cil in terms of Sec­tion 139(1)(c). They cite nu­mer­ous in­fras­truc­tural and ad­min­is­tra­tive fail­ures, in­clud­ing al­leged un­paid debt to Eskom lead­ing the en­tity to threaten power cuts to the city from 4 De­cem­ber. The trio have held plac­ards at other po­lit­i­cal land­marks, such as at the 2011 mil­i­tary pa­rade be­stow­ing Free­dom of the City on then pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, once again red-flag­ging Con­sti­tu­tional abuses.

In April 2017 they staged a silent protest out­side the Cathe­dral as part of the na­tional #Savesa cam­paign fol­low­ing Zuma’s reshuf­fling of the Cabi­net. On that oc­ca­sion Smith, a Black Sash trustee, held a poster that read, ‘When will you hear, Mr Zuma?’ It mir­rored the one she had held in the same spot dur­ing a vigil in the 80s that said, ‘Mr Botha, when will you hear?’ when the apartheid pres­i­dent de­clared a state of emer­gency .

This week, Smith said of the protest and the pe­ti­tion, “I un­der­stand that there are chal­lenges and dif­fi­cul­ties, but this is abuse of the com­mu­nity.

“We felt we had to take a stand again.”

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