On Wednesday police uprooted cannabis plants grown by activists, who had camped outside President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office for over three years.
Their leader, wearing a traditional loincloth, clung to a shoulder-height plant as police dragged it across the presidential lawn in Pretoria before arresting him.
“Police … you have declared war,” he shouted. “We have been here peacefully. We are coming for you,” warned the man, who calls himself King Khoisan South Africa.
During the raid, another activist yelled in Afrikaans at the police, asking them: “For plants? For plants? You are rubbish people in uniforms.”
The group’s tarpaulin tents have been a fixture on the lawns of Ramaphosa’s office since 2018, when they began a campaign for official recognition of their languages.
One of the tents is just metres away from a giant bronze statue of Nelson Mandela, the country’s first black president.
Around two dozen police, some in riot gear, others mounted on horseback and some with sniffer dogs, raided the small group.
In 2018, South Africa’s top court decriminalised the private and personal use of cannabis in a landmark case that pitted law enforcement agencies against advocates of the plant, known locally as dagga.
Sources: MSN, Daily Maverick
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