Poo protestors' lawyer asks court for lighter sentence

The group of nine face jail time for up to 30 years after dumping human waste at Cape Town International.

FILE: Ses'Khona Leaders Loyiso Nkohla (L) and Andile Lili address their supporters outside of Bellville Magistrates Court. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The lawyer representing Cape Town's infamous poo protesters has asked that they not be jailed for dumping human waste at Cape Town International Airport.

The group of nine were found guilty earlier this year for contravening the Civil Aviation Act.

#Pooprotesters All nine accused have been found guilty of contravening Civil Aviation Act after dumping human waste at CT Int'l Airport. SS

They started the so-called toilet wars in 2013 when they threw waste not only at the airport, but also on the N2 and on the steps of the Western Cape Provincial Legislature.

They allegedly dumped human waste at the Departures Terminal at Cape Town International Airport in June last year to highlight the sanitation woes of poor communities.

Defence Lawyer Pearl Mathibela told the court most of the accused come from impoverished backgrounds and are the breadwinners of their families.

Mathibela said reports compiled by probation officers suggest incarceration would not be the appropriate punishment for the group.

The nine accused all face jail time of up to 30 years.

Mathibela suggested correctional supervision or suspended sentences, adding some of the men suffer from poor health.

Mathibela said at least two of the men suffer from hypertension and diabetes.