State had no case against PE residents

Mthetho Ndoni

Mthetho Ndoni

Eight Motherwell residents charged with attending an illegal gathering and intimidation were acquitted yesterday.

The New Law Courts magistrate in Port Elizabeth found the accused not guilty.

While judgment was being heard, Motherwell residents led by the local SACP, protested in front of the court to demand the charges be dropped.

The case relates to a protest against the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality's poor service delivery.

During his ruling, the magistrate told the eight they were free to go home because of a lack of evidence.

Protesters then went to the office of the executive mayor, Nondumiso Maphazi, to hand over a memorandum containing their grievances.

Maphazi refused to talk to the protesters who wanted to see her after the eight had been acquitted.

When Sowetan asked Maphazi why she wouldn't meet the protesters she promised to send an official to fetch the memorandum.

Melisizwe Hoyi, SACP branch secretary for NU29, said the party supported the community because of poor conditions they lived in.

The community had written numerous letters to the mayor but had not received a response.