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Anti-GBV protest organiser says bikers caused peaceful protest to turn violent

Two separate groups of protesters gathered outside the parliamentary precinct to protest gender-based violence and farm killings.

A police vehicle is covered with placards during an anti-gender-based violence protest in front of Parliament in Cape Town on 29 August 2020. Picture: Courtney Savage

CAPE TOWN - Eighteen people arrested during protests at Parliament over the weekend are appearing in court on Monday.

Two separate groups of protesters gathered outside the parliamentary precinct to protest gender-based violence and farm killings.

However, the demonstrations descended into chaos when police moved in to disperse the crowd.

Jesse Brand, a demonstrator, insists that the protest that she helped to organise was peaceful.

She claimed that the situation turned tense when a group of motorbikers arrived as part of a separate demonstration.

"One of the bikers drove into the barricade, breaking it and the police officers pulled him off the bike and he threw a fist and that was when police opened fire and threw stun grenades."

Brand said that police acted when a biker climbed onto a statue to hang a flag.

Police have also been accused of being heavy-handed when a group of demonstrating restaurant workers tried to march on Parliament several weeks back.

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