South Africa: State Declines to Prosecute Cape Town Gender-Based Violence Protesters

The state has decided not to pursue legal action against any of the 23 protestors arrested during demonstrations last week in Cape Town against gender-based violence.

A total of 23 protesters were arrested in Cape Town between 4 and 6 September during mass protests against gender-based violence. Eleven were arrested on 4 September for contravening the Regulation of Gatherings Act (RGA), 10 were arrested in the following two days for public violence, and another two arrested for assault of a police officer on 5 September.

But on Tuesday the State indicated it would decline to prosecute any of them.

Representatives from Legal Aid and the Women's Legal Centre met prosecutor David Jacobs before the 11 protesters who were arrested on the first day of protests were tried for contravening the RGA, according to the head of the Women's Legal Centre, Seeham Samaai.

They were due to appear in court on Monday 9 September, but instead were met with the news that they were not being prosecuted and would not have criminal records.

Eric Ntabazalila, regional communications manager for the National Prosecuting Authority, responded to Daily Maverick's request for information on why the charges were not pursued with the following statement:...

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