Today, June 11th – the Right2Know Campaign was forced to lodge an urgent appeal in the Pretoria High Court contesting the decision by the Tshwane Metro and Police to limit our democratic right to picket outside the Seriti Arms Procurement Commission.
The Seriti Arms Procurement Commission is hearing the evidence of senior politicians this week. The Right2Know Campaign believes that this presents an opportunity for former Ministers Kasrils, Lekota and Manuel to give full account of why the country committed to spend almost R70 billion on weapons in the late 1990’s.
The Arms Procurement Commission was established after almost 15 years of pressure by civil society groups. However R2K is deeply concerned by attempts to limit civil society participation in this process.
The latest example of which was a denial by the Tshwane Metro Police of our right to peacefully protest outside the commission on 12th of June (when Trevor Manuel is scheduled to appear). This follows a string of correspondence with the Tshwane Metro Police who have shown every intention to prohibit the picket (including citing the draconian apartheid-era National Key Points Act) instead of facilitating it as they are required by law.
The decision by the Tshwane Metro Police not to allow the protest is deeply concerning and R2K will continue to pursue legal means to ensure our democratic right to protest.
The Tshwane Metro Police claims that a permit has already been granted for two different organisations to picket in Tshwane that day and the three units of police officers will be deployed to police those gatherings.
We have been forced to lodge an urgent appeal to the Tshwane High Court to ensure that our right to protest is respected, and the matter will be heard at 7am on Thursday 12 June.