ConCourt: Unions can be held liable for protest damage

The Constitutional Court ruled that unions can be held responsible for damage caused during protests.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. Picture: Ntswe Mokoena/GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - The Constitutional Court on Wednesday ruled that unions can be held responsible for damage caused during protests.

The ruling means unions may now have to pay up if protests turn violent and property is damaged.

All judges agreed that unions must be held responsible for damage caused during violent protests, but they had different reasons.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng wrote the majority ruling.

He said while the ruling is a strong limitation on the right of assembly, protest organisers can decide whether or not to go ahead if they foresee possible violence.

Mogoeng also said it was important for society to be able to pursue those who hurt them and that it is protest organisers who set in chain events that can lead to damage being caused.