The South African government has warned any protester caught vandalising property today (Friday) they will face criminal conviction, as the trade unions step up their fight against e-tolling.
The Congress of South African Trade Union’s (Cosatu) Dumisani Dakile called for the destruction of e-toll gantries by protesters yesterday.
Dakile responded to the government’s warning by saying he was misunderstood. “It was meant in that context, but you know how the media is,” he said.
HumanIPO reported on Monday the e-tolling system for Gauteng highways suffered a setback after the African National Congress (ANC) postponed a parliamentary debate and on Wednesday the High Court heard “tolling can’t be undone” from a lawyer representing the South African National Roads Agency SOC (SANRAL).
Dakile added the Gauteng Local Government and Housing Department should demolish the gantries in the same fashion they destroyed the illegally constructed houses on sold land in Lenasia, Johannesburg.
The judge hearing the case has not given a date for when the ruling will be handed down, but has promised to work on it as fast as he can. The hearing became intermittently heated and the judge was accused of being biased. Those debating called for a senior advocate to be fined for making unsubstantiated claims.
The government does not discourage the protests but is calling on the participants of the protest in Johannesburg and Pretoria to exercise their right to protest within the ambit the law.