Human Rights Day 2022
Anti-xenophobia movement plans to go to court after JMPD bans march
Kopanang Africa Against Xenophobia says the Johannesburg metro police department (JMPD) has banned a march it had planned to commemorate Human Rights Day.
“The JMPD informed us our march is prohibited. Their stated reason is that Operation Dudula has been issuing and circulating messages of intimidation and threats of disruption and violence directed at Kopanang, our march and any ‘illegal’ migrants who participate,” said Keith Peacock, a group spokesperson.
He said the JMPD order came despite Kopanang following all relevant processes to obtain permission from the authorities.
“It is precisely the job of the police to enforce the law and protect those exercising their right to protest. This makes it crystal clear the police simply do not want to do their job, are effectively caving into the blackmail of Operation Dudula and are blatantly violating the rights of Kopanang and all those participating in the march,” Peackock said.
The organisation said it would approach the high court to ask it to overturn the JMPD’s decision.
Their march will be moved to March 26 to allow for tensions to be defused and lawful processes to unfold.
“While we fully expect this court application will be successful, we feel by shifting the march forward to next Saturday, Kopanang can better ensure the police do their job, that the conditions for Operation Dudula to carry through with their intimidation and violent threats will be narrowed, and we will be in a stronger position to further mobilise public support and participation here and abroad,” Peacock said.
He urged all those who wished for an “inclusive, tolerant, equal and more just society” to join the movement.
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