Category Archives: Yolandi Groenewald

City Press: Spies snoop on greens

Spies snoop on greens

Yolandi Groenewald

Intelligence agencies are keeping a close eye on activists ahead of this month’s big climate change COP17 conference.

A number of activists have told City Press about intelligence sources breathing down their necks in anticipation of protest actions being launched during the climate talks.

“The sudden attention concerns us a lot,” said activist S’bu Zikode from Durban based Abahlali baseMjondolo (Shack Dwellers) Movement. “They are phoning us, watching us.”

He said crime intelligence officers were making regular phone calls to his members, asking them what they planned for COP17 as well as questioning them about the organisation and who their leaders were. Officials also made an appointment to visit Zikode personally, but never arrived.

The movement has been a constant thorn in the side of the Durban authorities, and is planning to bring 10 000 people to civil society’s big march at COP17 on December 3.

“Why crime intelligence’s interest in us all of a sudden? They are obsessed with us now,” he said. “Even our normal actions, which can be quite militant, don’t usually attract such a lot of attention.”

Activist Bobby Peek, director of KwaZulu-Natal-based environmental group groundWork, said the police crime intelligence unit was quite upfront in their surveillance.