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Unions unhappy with ConCourt ruling

Wednesday's decision means unions could be sued for damages caused by protesters.

Satawu member holds up a sign during protest.

JOHANNESBURG - Wednesday's Constitutional Court ruling will not deter the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) from taking part in future protests.

This after the highest court ruled that unions could be sued for damages caused during violent demonstrations.

Satawu General Secretary Zenzo Mahlangu said this ruling was wrong.

"Some hooligans are not necessary members of Satawu,."

Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)'s Patrick Craven also expressed frustration with the ruling.

"It's not reasonable to expect the organisers, who have taken all necessary measures, to possibly be bankrupted for damage caused by other people."

All presiding judges agreed that unions must be held responsible.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng delivered the judgment.

He said that while the ruling has a strong limitation on the right of assembly, protest organisers should show responsibility by determining the possibility of violence.

Mogoeng said it was important for society to be able to pursue those responsible.