Scuffle at state capture inquiry between cops and BLF supporters

BLF supporters were involved in a scuffle with the police at the at state capture inquiry sitting in Parktown, Johannesburg.
BLF supporters were involved in a scuffle with the police at the at state capture inquiry sitting in Parktown, Johannesburg.
Image: Karyn Maughan

A scuffle broke out on Tuesday between members of the Black First Land First (BLF) and SAPS officers over access to public hearings at the commission of inquiry investigating State Capture in Parktown on Tuesday.

South African Police Services deployed outside the venue blocked the group of 15‚ wearing T-shirts bearing the words: “BLF says Absa must pay back the money.”

This happened while a representative from Absa‚ Yasmin Masithela‚ was testifying before the commission on why the bank had closed the bank accounts belonging to Gupta-owned businesses.

BLF deputy president Zanele Lwana accused the police of trampling on their rights as members of the public to attend the hearings. She insisted that they were not there to disrupt the proceedings. But police officers stood their ground and refused to grant the group access.

“You’re looking at us as black people‚ and think we are going to disrupt. We have interest in this commission. We have made submissions to this commission‚” Lwana said.

She said the BLF wanted the commission‚ headed by Justice Raymond Zondo‚ to be broader than its current terms of reference. After attempting to negotiate with individual BLF supporters‚ metro police officers were called in as backup.

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