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'Violent protests cannot be condoned'

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe says South Africans have the right to protest, but peacefully.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe speaks during a post cabinet briefing on 31 May 2012. Picture: SAPA.


CAPE TOWN - Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe on Wednesday said while the right to demonstrate is enshrined in the Constitution, violent protests can never be condoned.

Speaking in the National Assembly, he said disgruntled communities must use legal means and avenues to vent their anger.

Congress of the People (Cope) leader Mosioua Lekota suggested ongoing violent demonstrations were sparked by the ANC's inability to deal with corruption and factionalism within its ranks.

“The infighting over resources within the ruling party and its structures are a major cause of disruption in various communities.”

Earlier this week, the ANC Youth League marched to the Western Cape Legislature.

The demonstrators called on the DA-led government to prioritise service delivery in poor areas and to express anger over possible school closures in the province.

The League has promised to protest every month until their demands are met.

Meanwhile, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela called on South Africans to use protest action as a last resort.

The country has recorded an increase in violent protests in recent months.

(Edited by Lindiwe Mlandu)

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