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SJC 'prepared to go to jail'

Several members of Social Justice Coalition were arrested following an illegal protest.

Activist Zackie Achmat. Picture: Zackie Achmat's Facebook page

CAPE TOWN - Social Justice Coalition (SJC) activist Zackie Achmat has accused the City of Cape Town of lying about time frames to address sanitation issues in Khayelitsha.

A group of 21 members from the coalition, including Achmat, were arrested earlier this week after demonstrating outside the Civic Centre.

The group were taken into custody after staging a demonstration outside the centre on Wednesday, which police said was illegal.

The group were held for several hours before being released on an official warning.

The city's Ernest Sonneberg labelled the demonstration a publicity stunt.

He says the city had given the SJC two meeting dates to discuss the issue, but the SJC failed to respond.

Achmat says however, the SJC had responded, asking for earlier dates.

"Ernest Sonneberg is a liar, the SJC responded by asking for urgent earlier dates and the city and mayor refused. This has been going on for three and half years now."

Achmat says the group has vowed to continue protest action until a solution is found.

"The Mayor of Cape Town and the city manager have left the SJC with no alternative but engage in protest action. We are prepared to go to jail. Both the ANC and the DA are denying the people their rights to dignity."

(Leeto M. Khoza)