Minister Fritz condemns heavy-handed response to restaurants’ peaceful protest | Western Cape Government


Minister Fritz condemns heavy-handed response to restaurants’ peaceful protest

24 July 2020

Minister Fritz condemns heavy-handed response to restaurants’ peaceful protest outside parliament

The Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, condemns the heavy-handed and unwarranted response to the reportedly peaceful protest action by the restaurant and hospitality industry outside of parliament today under the slogans #JobsSaveLives and #ServeUsPlease.

Minister Fritz has called out the apparent hypocrisy of SAPS’ heavy-handed response in the CBD, whilst arguing that they are under-resourced and unable to adequately attend to violent and malicious protest action elsewhere.

It is reported that the peaceful protestors were standing outside parliament in a socially distanced manner whilst holding placards. They then began to form a human chain separated by 1.5 meter long ribbon. At which point the police informed the protestors that they were not within their rights to protest. They then said that the protestors had two minutes to disperse and proceeded to use water guns and set off stun grenades.

Minister Fritz said, “It is absurd that SAPS and the SANDF are not able to fully mobilise enough resources to respond adequately to violent protests in areas which are experiencing looting, public violence, land invasions, destruction of property and barricading of roads; and yet they are able to mobilise water cannons and stun grenades at the drop of a hat to disperse peaceful protests.”

Minister Fritz added, “I have raised this matter with the Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata. It is essential that SAPS’ Public Order Policing’s (POP) protocol be urgently reviewed to ensure that their response is adequate and proportional to the threat experienced.”

The Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier said, “Our tourism and hospitality industry is hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and the current restrictions are having a major impact on these businesses who are facing severe job losses and closure. We have repeatedly called for the opening of these businesses where they are able to do so safely and responsibly through engagements with the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.”

Minister Maynier continued, “Instead of a constructive and common-sense response, the tourism and hospitality sector has been subject to flip flopping, uncertainty and today, an unnecessary use of violence in response to a peaceful protest. This is completely unjustifiable considering the lengths that the industry has gone to in order to put in place the necessary safety measures to stop the spread of Covid-19. These businesses can open safely and they should be allowed to do so.”

Please see English audio clip on behalf of Minister Fritz here:

Please see English audio clip for Minister Maynier here:

Media Enquiries: 

Cayla Ann Tomás Murray
Spokesperson for Minister Albert Fritz
Tel: 021 483 9217
Cell: 064 121 7959