South Africa: GBV Protesters Plan a Case Against Police for 'Unjust' Arrests

Protesters arrested during Cape Town demonstrations against gender-based violence say they will lay a case against the SAPS for unlawful arrest after charges against them were withdrawn.

After hearing that none of the protesters arrested during last week's protests would have criminal records, a small group of people dressed in black walked from Cape Town Magistrate's Court to the Cape Town Central Police Station to get the forms needed to start the process of collecting evidence and formulating a case.

Since the first protesters were arrested on 4 September, legal representatives from the Women's Legal Centre and Legal Aid SA have worked to clear them of charges of public violence, contravening the Regulation of Gatherings Act, and assault of police officers.

As a result, all of the cases were declared nolle prosequi, meaning that the prosecution opted not to pursue charges against any of the arrested protesters and instead nullified their cases.

Kabelo Manyoga, a candidate attorney with Legal Aid, believes the prosecutor did the right thing:

"If they had pursued this case, in light of everything that is happening in South Africa, people would lose confidence in our justice system. There are very serious matters we should be pursuing,...

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