The Protea South Five & the eTwatwa Twelve Have Been Released

Landless People’s Movement Press Statement
8 June 2010

The Protea South Five & the eTwatwa Twelve Have Been Released

All of the Protea South Five, arrested after the electricity war in Protea South, Soweto, have been released on the grounds that ‘there is no evidence against them’. None of the five were harmed while in detention. A sixth person from Protea South (who is not an LPM member) has now been arrested and charged with burning the transformer. There are currently conflicting reports at to whether or not there has been an arrest for the murder of the LPM activist shot by the Homeowners’ Association in Protea South.

In eTwatwa, Ekurhuleni, seven of the twelve people that were finally arrested have been released with all charges dropped. The other five have been released on bail but still have charges pending. No one has been arrested for the burning of the homes of two LPM militants. No one has been arrested for the murder of the the activist shot by the police in eTwatwa. Is there a licence to shoot activists with the intention to kill? Why are we arrested when there is no evidence against us but others can kill us freely?

The LPM condemns the way in which the police arrest activists against whom they have no evidence in the strongest terms. Across the country all of our movements are increasingly facing the systematic misuse of power of arrest granted to the police as a form of intimidation against militants. We are arrested all the time without any evidence being brought against us. The arrest itself has become the punishment. People are often assaulted while they are being arrested. Very often it is the ward councillors that are directing the police to arrest people.

The struggle against oppression by ward councillors will continue.

For further information and comment please contact the chairperson of the Landless People’s Movement in Gauteng, Maureen Mnisi, on 082 337 4514 or David Mathontsi, Chairperson of the eTwatwa Landless People’s Movement, on 076 486 0569.