Reclaim the City laundry protest halts debate on Zille speech
Aphiwe Deklerk | 2017-02-21 17:40:13.0
Western Cape Premier Helen Zille
Image by: YouTube/Enca
The Western Cape legislature was brought to a halt by a Reclaim the City protest during Tuesday’s debate on Premier Helen Zille’s state of the province address.
Four people in the gallery reserved for invited guests of members put up white T-shirts on a string‚ as if hanging laundry. The garments bore messages including “No deal for Tafelberg” and “Land for people‚ not profit”.
Reclaim the City campaigns for affordable housing near central Cape Town‚ and its flagship campaign calls for the Tafelberg School site in Sea Point to be used for homes.
The province initially agreed to sell the site to a developer‚ but it has since promised a new public participation exercise.
Deputy speaker Piet Pretorius suspended Tuesday’s sitting after DA chief whip Mark Wiley’s request.
“Before those four members entered the gallery‚ I made an announcement from the chair to say that any demonstrations from the gallery will be illegal‚” said Pretorius.
“Members of the gallery‚ I know you want to make a statement but legally‚ in terms of the law‚ that is not allowed.”
He asked the protesters to leave or risk being prosecuted‚ then adjourned the house as the group started shouting “Reclaim the City! Reclaim the City!” Members of the opposition ANC joined the chant.
Proceedings restarted five minutes later after the group left the gallery.