Lessons of Moutse

Citizens have the right to public protest over issues they feel infringe on their rights.

Citizens have the right to public protest over issues they feel infringe on their rights.

However, protests must not infringe on the rights of others, and must be peaceful, disciplined and within the laws of this country.

Residents of Moutse, angered by the government's decision to incorporate their area into Limpopo, conformed to these principles during their march in Groblersdal last Thursday - until a section of the crowd became unruly.

They burnt ANC T-shirts with President Thabo Mbeki's picture on and sang the praises of Jacob Zuma.

All hell broke loose and 47 people were arrested, and scores were injured.

Violence is counter-productive and will not help resolve their discontent, but serve to harden attitudes on either side ultimately.

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