Poo protestors released

While some protestors were released with a warning, repeat offenders were granted bail.

Protestors from informal settlements in Cape Town march against poor sanitation. Picture: Lauren Isaacs/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The group of 21 people who were arrested for protesting within 100 metres of a court building without permission were released from police custody on Wednesday morning.

The group staged a demonstration outside the Bellville Magistrate's Court on Monday in support of a group of people detained for dumping sewage at the Cape Town International Airport last week.

Ten of them were released on a warning and told to return to court on 16 August while 10 others were granted bail of R200 each as it emerged they were part of a group of people arrested in a separate dumping incident.

Those granted bail were arrested at the Woodstock train station near the Cape Town CBD early last month when they were caught with crates containing human waste.

The intention was to dump the human faeces outside the City Council buildings.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)'s Eric Ntabazalila said, "One person in the group was a minor and the charges against him were withdrawn. Those granted bail were charged because they were already out on a warning from a previous court appearance at the Cape Town Magistrates Court. They were repeat offenders."

The so-called poo wars in the Western Cape began in May when the City of Cape Town unveiled a portable flush toilet system that would provide informal settlement residents with proper sanitation facilities.

But residents became angry.

They said they did not want the portable flush toilets saying they were degrading.

Over the last two months protestors have dumped human waste outside the Western Cape High Court, the Provincial Legislature and in one incident a protestor hurled human waste at Western Cape Premier Helen Zille's convoy as she was exiting the Khayelitsha township.