SJC: 'Police response to peaceful protest reminiscent of apartheid'

The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) says that it is angered by what it calls the police's violent response to peaceful protesters.

Residents from Khayelitsha, Philippi East, Kraaifontein and Hout Bay protesting out Cape Town’s Civic Centre on 31 January 19. Picture: Lauren Isaacs/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) says that it is angered by what it calls the police's violent response to peaceful protesters.

The organisation's Axolile Notywala claims to have been assaulted by police shortly after he was taken into custody during a peaceful protest outside the Civic Centre in Cape Town on Thursday.

The coalition organised the demonstration that saw scores of residents from informal settlements across the city protest for water, flushing toilets and electricity.

Notywala says that officers set off four stun grenades without first communicating with non-violent demonstrators.

"It was violent, uncalled for and reminiscent of apartheid. Sadly this has been the norm for us as poor black people when attempting to engage with government. Do not be fooled by Mayor Dan Plato coming out to address us. Conveniently this was after SAPS threw stun grenades at us."

The Social Justice Coalition has decided to lay a formal complaint with police watchdog Ipid.

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